No, this isn’t the opening line of a new joke or the start of a story about Jennifer Aniston’s character in Horrible Bosses. New research from Taiwan shows that men with severe gum disease are at higher risk for impotence. The risk is higher in younger men and the elderly.
The study found that gum disease was much more prevalent among men with erectile dysfunction than in those without. After taking into account pre-existing medical conditions and other factors such as lifestyle and smoking, the researchers found that gum disease was still linked to impotence.
“Understanding all aspects of how and why a health condition occurs is vital to prevention and treatment goals,” said Dr. Tobias Kohler. “This new study demonstrates how seemingly unrelated conditions can in fact be connected.”
The study did not prove that gum disease caused the erectile dysfunction but experts believe that the inflammation in the body caused by the gum disease damages blood vessels.
Gum disease has been linked to pregnancy problems, heart disease, diabetes and even certain cancers. Treating gum disease is so much easier today than it was years ago so there is no reason to live with this risk to your health. Today we can target medications directly to infected tissue and treat diseased gums using laser technology. Gum disease also causes horrible bad breath – never an attractive quality.
The best way to deal with gum disease is to avoid it altogether! Brushing and flossing are important and yes, you have to floss every day! Regular visits to your dental hygienist are needed to clean out the “gunk” that your floss and toothbrush can’t reach. Prevention is much less expensive than treating disease so don’t skip these appointments.
Certain people are at higher risk for gum disease. Genetics, diseases such as diabetes, certain medications and hormonal changes can increase your risk. If you are in one of these groups you may require professional cleanings more often than other patients. Your hygienist will let you know the proper schedule for your optimum health.
Please contact Dr. Mark Levy at StoneRidge Dental Care in Columbus, OH at 614-476-6696 today to schedule your next dental hygiene visit.