A bright, healthy smile is a definite confidence booster, but did you know that your oral health is also linked with erection health?
Much has been learned about erection health in the years since drugs like Viagra have become available. The drug was essentially discovered by accident during trials as a treatment for a heart problem called angina. It represented a breakthrough in showing that erectile dysfunction is, for most men, a circulation issue and not a psychological block.
As more is learned about erection health and circulatory health, doctors are discovering links between a number of ordinary diseases and decreased erection health. Several studies have found a connection between gum disease and erection problems, and if you follow the logic, they make perfect sense.
A Recent Study from Taiwan
A recent study from Taiwan that was reported in Men’s Health says that men who have erection problems are much more likely to be diagnosed with periodontal, or gum, disease than men with good erection health. Specifically, men with erectile dysfunction were 79% more likely to have been diagnosed with chronic periodontal disease than men without erectile dysfunction.
Chronic periodontal disease is basically a chronic infection that sets up when gum tissue pulls away from the teeth, creating pockets where bacteria can thrive and spread to the bone surrounding teeth. The disease is suspected of damaging endothelial cells, which line all your blood vessels, including those you rely on to experience an erection. In fact, erection problems can be considered an early warning sign of vascular disease, since the blood vessels of the penis are much smaller than coronary arteries.
2014 Study from India
A 2014 study from Genesis Institute of Dental Sciences and Research in India came to a similar conclusion. That study, based on the fact that chronic gum disease and erectile dysfunction have similar risk factors like smoking, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, evaluated the periodontal health of 53 men who had erectile dysfunction and determine if there was an association between the two conditions. The study participants were divided into three groups according to the severity of their erection problems.
Erectile dysfunction and periodontal disease were positively correlated with each other, with statistically significant differences based on severity of erection problems. While the researchers were confident in concluding that chronic gum disease and erectile dysfunction are associated, they say that large scale studies that include longitudinal follow-up should be conducted to better understand the connection.
Other Studies of Gum Disease and Erection Health
Studies from the UK and Israel have also made a connection between gum disease and erection health. In the British study, 80% of men with severe erectile dysfunction also had gum disease, and in the Israeli study, more than 15% of men with moderate to severe erectile dysfunction also had chronic gum disease.
In a somewhat related topic, a different Israeli research group studied 56 male subjects and found that more than half of the men with low sperm counts also had chronic gum disease. One way or the other, it would appear that maintaining good oral health is important to maintaining good erection health. It makes sense, because gum disease and heart disease are correlated, and heart disease and erectile dysfunction are correlated.
Gum Disease Has Been Linked to Heart Disease
Gum disease and heart disease share many risk factors, including tobacco use, diabetes, and poor nutrition. People with chronic gum disease are at higher risk for a heart attack. Early stage gum disease called gingivitis occurs due to plaque build-up along the gum line. Some researchers believe that bacteria from infected gums can become dislodged, enter the bloodstream, and increase clot formation. Clots decrease blood flow to the heart, causing blood pressure and heart attack risk to increase.
The good news is, people with heart disease who improve their oral health can lower their dependence on blood pressure medications, so if this is you, tell your dentist at your next visit. The symptoms of gum disease include:
- Tender, red, swollen gums
- Gums that bleed during brushing
- Gums that appear to have pulled away from teeth
- Chronic bad breath
- Teeth that are becoming loose
Heart disease and erectile dysfunction are associated with each other. Since the introduction of Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, and similar drugs for treating erection problems, doctors have increased their understanding of erectile dysfunction as largely a disease of circulation. This is actually good news for two reasons.
One, men who develop erection problems can have their cardiac health evaluated. Heart disease is much easier to reverse when it is found early, and erectile dysfunction is considered an early symptom. The second reason it’s good that research has linked erection problems and cardiac health is that improving cardiac health can make a significant positive difference in erection health. This is true even for men who take medications like Viagra.
Good News: Gum Disease Is Easy to Prevent
Another item of good news is that gum disease is easy to prevent if you’re willing to develop good dental habits. If you smoke, you should quit, and if you have diabetes, you should make the effort to manage it properly. To prevent gum disease, you should brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice per day, floss daily, use an antiseptic mouth rinse twice daily, and visit your dentist regularly. How often you need to visit your dentist will depend on the condition of your teeth and gums and your personal risk factors.
Dentists treat gum disease with special cleaning tools and try to determine causes of plaque build-up, such as loose crowns. X-rays can determine whether gum disease has caused bone loss. Periodontists are dentists who specialize in treating gum disease, but ultimately, prevention is preferable.
Overall health and erection health are inextricably linked, and your oral health is an important component of overall health. At AccessRx.com, we provide name brand prescription medications like Viagra for erectile dysfunction at competitive costs with unbeatable convenience. We’re also HIPAA-compliant, use fast, reliable shipping, and have the strongest online security for protection of customer privacy and data.