If ever a man needed more incentive to take care of his oral health then this has to be it. A new study has shown there may be a link between men suffering from severe periodontal disease and erectile dysfunction.
The population based study looked at 33,000 men suffering from erectile dysfunction, and a comparison group of 162,000 men who didn’t have this condition. They tracked both groups for five years to try to ascertain if there was a link between erectile dysfunction and periodontal disease. Even though the study took into account lifestyle factors such as pre-existing medical conditions and income, it still found erectile dysfunction was linked to gum disease, particularly in men aged over 70 or younger than 30 . In spite of these findings, the study doesn’t show that periodontal disease causes erectile dysfunction, only that the two may somehow be associated in some way.
There is already speculation as to what this link, if any exists, might be. One idea put forward by Dr Aaron Katz, chairman of the Department of Urology at Winthrop University Hospital in New York, is that erectile dysfunction may be due to inflammation in the body, and that this could have caused damage to the blood vessels in the penis. This idea does make sense as periodontitis is known to cause inflammation.
Previous studies have shown an association between cardiovascular disease and erectile dysfunction, and links between chronic periodontitis and cardiovascular disease. It is obvious that much more research is needed to discover the exact link between them, but this latest study does underline the need for men to make sure they receive the proper dental care for periodontal disease.
At the moment all the results of these finding are preliminary until the data and conclusions are published in a peer-reviewed medical journal. However this study might make those regular visits for professional cleanings and checkups a lot more appealing to men.