A new study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that men in their 30s who had severe periodontal disease were three times more likely to suffer from erection problems. While this study suggests an association between erectile dysfunction and periodontal disease, the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) believes more research is needed before conclusively linking the two.
According to Nancy L. Newhouse, DDS, MS, President of the American Academy of Periodontology, “Research has indicated that periodontal disease may be associated with vascular disease, which is a common cause of erectile dysfunction. However, the association is thought to be related to inflammation; there is no direct evidence that one disease causes the other. Therefore, periodontal disease may be associated with or considered a risk factor for erectile dysfunction, but does not necessarily cause it.”

While there is no direct causal relationship between periodontal disease and erectile dysfunction, Dr. Newhouse encourages all men to take an active role in the health of their teeth and gums before it affects other areas of the body. Research published in the Journal of Periodontology found women are almost twice as likely as men to receive regular dental check-ups. In addition, recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that over 64 million Americans, or almost half of U.S. adults, have periodontal disease. Of that, 56 percent of men have periodontal disease, compared to over 38 percent of women.

To help prevent periodontal disease, everyone, regardless of gender, should receive a comprehensive periodontal evaluation (CPE) from a dental professional on an annual basis. A CPE is used to examine your teeth, plaque, gums, bite, bone structure and any risk factors you may have for periodontal disease.