Gum disease can be a bit of a flop

PRACTISING good oral hygiene is crucial for your overall health, but it can also help prevent erectile dysfunction (ED). According to an interesting study, there is a link between gum disease and ED, or impotence, in men.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Granada, in Spain. This is the first of its kind to be conducted on a European population.

According to the study, men with periodontitis are at greater risk of developing erectile dysfunction. Periodontitis is a condition that causes inflammation of the gums. This gum disease also damages the structures that surround and support the teeth.

The researchers believe that effective tooth-brushing and good dental hygiene can help prevent this type of male, sexual impotence.

Gum inflammation and impotence

Erectile dysfunction refers to the inability of a man to achieve an erection. The condition may be caused by physical or psychological factors. Alternatively, ED can be caused by a combination of the two factors.

Periodontitis is characterised by chronic inflammation of the gums. This disease gradually damages the alveolar bone, and the connective tissues that anchor the teeth in place. If left untreated, periodontitis can result in tooth loss.

The researchers noted that periodontal bacteria or inflammatory cytokines from the infected gums cause damage to the vascular endothelial cells. Once this endothelial dysfunction occurs in the blood vessels, blood-flow is negatively affected. This explains why having bad oral hygiene results in ED.

For the UGR study, the scientists worked with 80 men. The researchers also used 78 controls. The participants included patients undergoing treatment at the Urology Service of the Clinico San Cecilio Hospital, at Granada’s Health Sciences Technology Park.

The researchers analysed sociodemographic data from the volunteers, who also had periodontal examination and were tested for the following:

*Blood glucose levels

*C-reactive protein

*Glycated hakkemoglobin

*Lipid profile

*Testosterone levels

The scientists discovered that at least 74% of the patients with erectile dysfunction had signs of periodontitis. The participants with the most severe cases of ED were also those with the worst periodontal damage.

The researchers noted that volunteers with periodontitis were at least 2.28 times more likely to have ED than the rest of the participants with healthy gums.

Gum disease

Periodontitis is a severe gum infection, caused by the accumulation of bacteria on the teeth and gums. Symptoms may vary, depending on the stage of the disease, but they often include:

*Bad breath (halitosis)

*Changes in the position of teeth

*Foul taste in the mouth

*Gums that bleed when brushing or flossing your teeth

*Inflammatory response throughout the body

*Loose teeth

*Pain when chewing

*Plaque or tartar build-up on your teeth

*Receding gums

*Tender, red, or swollen gums

*Tooth loss.

Periodontitis is usually caused by poor oral hygiene. Other factors can also cause the disease, such as:

*Diseases that impact the immune system


*Hormonal changes in women (menstruation, pregnancy or menopause) that make the gums more sensitive

*Medications that can reduce saliva flow in the mouth


*Poor nutrition

*Smoking, one of the biggest risk factors for the condition

*Type 2 diabetes.

To prevent periodontitis, give up smoking or chewing tobacco. You should also brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss, daily, to get rid of plaque.


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Posted by on Oct 17 2019. Filed under Health & Beauty. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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