The Link Between Gum Disease & Erectile Dysfunction

The Link Between Gum Disease & Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is more common in men treated for gum disease, Reuters Health reports.

According to a new analysis of existing studies, chronic bacterial infection of the gums, also known as periodontitis, is not only a major cause of tooth loss for adults. but has also been linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease and general inflammation. Both can be tied to stroke and hardening of the arteries, which, in turn, have been associated with erectile dysfunction (ED).

The review authors looked at data from five studies that were published between 2009 and 2014 and covered over 213,000 participants aged 20 to 80. According to one of the studies reviewed, erectile dysfunction was 2.28 times more common for men with periodontitis than for men without it, while a study from 2013 found that treating periodontitis improves erectile dysfunction symptom.

Overall, the analysis, published in the International Journal of Impotence Research, concluded that ED was was more common among men being treated for chronic periodontitis, particularly in those younger than 40 and older than 59.

Even though the review authors state that further epidemiological studies may be needed to better estimate, it might be beneficial to “inform patients with chronic periodontitis about its association with ED,”  said senior author Dr. Zhigang Zhao of The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University in China.

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