Men with gum disease are more likely to be diagnosed with erectile dysfunction, says a recent review of existing studies.


Erectile dysfunction is the inability of a man to have an erection hard enough for sexual intercourse.

According to the report in the International Journal of Impotence Research, a total of 213,000 studies with participants aged 20 to 80 were examined.

Data from five studies published between 2009 and 2014, including a randomized controlled trial were analysed by the reviewers.


Each study found erectile dysfunction was more common among men being treated for chronic periodontitis, particularly for those younger than 40 and older than 59.

Periodontitis (Chronic bacterial infection of the gums) is a prominent cause of tooth loss for adults.

During the course of the study, erectile dysfunction was found to be 2.28 times more common for men with periodontitis than for men without it.


“In our opinion, the actual biological mechanism of ED in periodontitis patients remains poorly understood,’ said Zhigang Zhao, senior author and doctor at the Guangzhou Medical University in China.

“It might still be too early to suggest that men with ED should have their teeth checked and that men with chronic periodontitis should worry about their sexual function.

“However, it might be beneficial to inform patients with chronic periodontitis about its association with ED.’

“Since chronic periodontitis had been linked with several chronic disorders, it is sensible to recommend daily inter-dental cleaning to reduce dental plaque and gingival inflammation.


“Chronic periodontitis treatment can control or eliminate inflammation and may reduce the risk of ED.

“Furthermore, clinicians should be aware of the potential role played by periodontitis disease in the development of erectile dysfunction,’ Zhao said.

A 2012 study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, had also noted that men with erectile dysfunction (ED) are three times more likely to have gum disease than men who do not have ED.

Turkish researchers learned that 53% of male patients with ED had severe gum disease compared with 23% who did not have ED.


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