Several researchers from different countries have tried to explore the relationship between chronic periodontitis and erectile dysfunction. They found that men with chronic periodontitis are more likely to have erectile dysfunction. This does not mean that chronic periodontitis causes erectile dysfunction. It only shows an association between gum disease and erectile dysfunction. That chronic periodontitis could be a risk factor to erectile dysfunction.
Then, how are the two conditions connected?
Several findings are common to both the conditions. These are
- Systemic inflammation
- Endothelial dysfunction
Porphyromonas gingivalis is a bacteria that causes periodontitis. The organism and their toxins gain access into the blood circulation. They invade the walls of the blood vessels and lead to inflammation, atherosclerosis and directly affect the endothelial function.
Atherosclerosis causes cardiac disease. Atherosclerosis arises from endothelial dysfunction and inflammation. Endothelial dysfunction is the key factor in causing erectile dysfunction. Atherosclerosis begins first in small blood vessels such as penile vasculature and then progress to larger blood vessels.
Erectile dysfunction(ED) also known as impotence is a persistent or recurrent inability to have sufficient erection for satisfactory sexual performance. ED is a major problem and affects more than 150 million men worldwide. This is usually experienced at the age of 40 years.
Both diseases are multifactorial and share common risk factors like smoking, diabetes and cardiac diseases.
Make sure to visit your dentist regularly, especially if you suffer from these
- Spontaneous bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Increasing gaps between teeth
- Bleeding from gums on brushing or applying pressure
- A dull constant pain in the gums
- Inability to chew on hard food
- Loose teeth
- Yellowish to brownish discolouration of teeth that does not go with brushing