Men in their 30s with inflamed gums caused by severe periodontal disease are three times more likely to suffer from erection problems, according to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
Results of a brand new study by Turkish researchers support the theory that chronic periodontitis is present more often in patients with Erectile Dysfunction, ED, than in those without and should be considered as a factor by clinicians treating men with erection problems.
When the researchers compared 80 men aged 30 to 40 with erectile dysfunction, with a control group of 82 men without erection problems, they discovered that 53 per cent of the men with erectile dysfunction had inflamed gums compared with 23 per cent in the control group.
After adjusting the results for other factors, such as age, body mass index, household income and education level, the men with severe periodontal disease were found to be 3.29 times more likely to suffer from erection problems than men with healthy gums.
The average age of men in both groups was just under 36 and there were no significant differences when it came to body mass index, household income and education.
Their sexual function was assessed using the International Index of Erectile Function, IIEF, and their gum health using the plaque index, bleeding on probing, probing depth and clinical attachment level.
Erectile dysfunction is a major public health problem that affects the quality of life of about 150 million men, and their partners worldwide.
Leader of the study, Dr. Faith Oguz from Inonu University in Malatya, Turkey, said physical factors cause nearly two-thirds of erectile dysfunction cases, mainly because of problems with the blood vessels, psychological issues like emotional stress and depression accounting for the remainder.
“Chronic periodontitis is a group of infectious diseases caused predominantly by bacteria that most commonly occur with inflammation of the gums.
“Many studies have reported that chronic periodontitis may induce systemic vascular diseases, such as coronary heart disease, which have been linked with erection problems,” Oguz said.
“To our knowledge, erectile dysfunction and in humans are caused by similar risk factors, such as aging, smoking, diabetes mellitus and coronary artery disease.
“We therefore excluded men who had systemic disease and who were smokers from this study. We particularly selected men aged between 30 and 40 to assess the impact of chronic periodontitis on erectile dysfunction without the results being influenced by the effects of aging,” Oguz explained.