Is Oral Health Responsible for Erectile Dysfunction?

oral health, dental health, oral care, gum disease, periodontal disease, oral cancer, Teeth cleaning

As the human gets older, you may find that your ability to perform in bed is not as great as it once was. Of course, changes in your sex life will be a matter of concern for most men, and you may not have any idea where to start looking for an answer. The simple answer is that you may want to start by looking at your teeth and gums. 

What Is Oral Health?

Oral health belongs to the dental wellness of human beings. It is the critical element of the overall health, well-being, and quality of life. Teeth cleaning, dental implants are the major factors responsible for building oral hygiene. 

In 2017, a Global Burden of Disease study stated that oral diseases impact 3.5 billion people worldwide. Moreover, According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, cancer caused by the lips and oral cavity are among the top-notch 15 common cancers. It causes around 180,000 deaths each year. Simultaneously, it affects the sexual health of both partners.  

Oral Infection & Periodontitis

Researchers continue to find a direct link between infection in your mouth and many severe problems with your other organs. The particular infection you need to be concerned about is the infection called gum disease. 

Gum disease, mainly the more severe version – periodontitis – is a problem you do not want to ignore. Periodontitis is a problem caused by bacteria that get into your gums. It usually starts to be a problem because of a lack of reasonable care of your teeth by not brushing them often enough or flossing. 

Why Can Periodontitis Cause ED?

The bacteria involved in gum disease produce acid when it consumes sugar. The bacteria are always in your mouth, but when the acid builds up and plaque forms on your teeth, the acid irritates the gums. This causes the gums to become inflamed, and they also start to recede. 

The inflammation spreads, and the immune system starts to attack the bacteria and the support structures for your teeth and jawbone. This can cause your teeth to become loose and possibly even fall out.

Because the gums are receding, the bacteria and inflammation are now enabled to enter your bloodstream. Once there, it can now travel anywhere in your body. It will now start to cause further problems with many of your major organs – possibly causing such issues as cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, stroke, dementia, diabetes, ED, several types of cancer, and more. 

Studies in rats that have periodontitis were shown to have problems with ED. Another possible connection is that it may lead to lower nitrous oxide, which is necessary for a good erection. Lower amounts are apt to mean problems.

Between 2009 and 2014, five separate studies were conducted that involved 213,000 men who were between 20 and 80. Each of the studies revealed that the men who had ED were more likely to have periodontitis. ED was found to be 2.28 times more prevalent among men who also had periodontitis. One study conducted in 2013 discovered that treating periodontitis produced better results with ED. 

Treating Periodontitis Treats Prostatitis 

In a study conducted in 2015, several men found that their symptoms of prostatitis improved after they had been treated for gum disease. They were not treated for anything else, but they saw improvement. 

Dentists Can Treat Periodontitis

If you know that you have periodontitis, then you need to get to a dentist for treatment. This gum disease only gets worse and is apt to affect your sexual health even more, but it also becomes more costly to repair the damage as it progresses. You should also be aware that you cannot treat it yourself because the bacteria are below the gum line and in your gums. 

Reversing periodontitis is possible for the dentist, but it is necessary to eliminate the bacteria from the gums. This is usually done through scaling and root planing, which involves manually cleaning the bacteria and inflammation out of the pockets. This procedure can also be partly accomplished with a laser. 

Other Tips to Help Avoid ED

In addition to periodontitis, there are also some other causes of erectile dysfunction that will hurt your sex life. These things include:

  • Lose Weight – Men who are obese are 2.5 times more likely to have ED. For a better sex life, lose the excess pounds. Being physically active can also help with ED.
  • Smoking – Besides the fact that your sex partner prefers good-smelling breath (gum disease gives you bad breath), smoking can also hurt your libido.
  • Reduce Stress – When you are under stress, it will boost your level of adrenaline. This hormone will make your blood vessels contract – which is the opposite of what you want and need for a good time in bed.
  • Control Diabetes – This common disease can also affect your sex drive and give you problems with erections. Controlling your sugar is important because it will promote the development of gum disease and make it harder to control when it is not controlled.  
  • Get Healthy Teeth – You can give yourself the benefit of healthy teeth and improve sex life at the same time by starting to brush twice a day and flossing. 
  • Visit a Dentist Regularly – A dentist can help spot and treat early gum disease

Dr. Venkataraman, DDS

Meet Our Dentist – Periodontist, Dr. Archana Venkataraman, DDS, MSD, a Board-Certified Periodontist at ToothHQ Dental Specialists Grapevine. Dr. Venkataraman can’t wait to meet you and discuss your teeth replacement options.

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