Gum Disease and Erectile Dysfunction

Did you know that flossing could help your love life? That’s right! Poor dental care among men can
impact your health in many ways, including erectile dysfunction (ED).

Less than half of men brush their teeth twice a day. Men are also less likely to floss or seek preventive
dental care until it’s too painful or swollen. This lack of attention often leads to periodontal disease (PD),
a chronic bacterial infection of the gums.

Current research shows that gum disease leads to CHRONIC INFLAMMATION in the mouth. This chronic
inflammation links periodontal disease to many problems all over the body, including heart disease,
increased risk of stroke, hardening of the arteries, and even impotence. If left untreated, periodontal
disease may result in the loss of your teeth, poorly controlled diabetes, and respiratory disease.

To throw some science at you, the gum disease bacteria called Porphyromonas gingivalis releases a
toxin that invades your blood circulation. This causes the arteries to get inflamed and angry, plaque
begins to build up, and BOOM! You have less blood flow to the areas you need the most.

Think about it this way: not flossing is like eating a bucket of fried chicken. It is comfortable and easy at
the time, but you are going to suffer the consequences of arterial blockage!

Many studies have been conducted to explore the relationship between periodontal disease (PD) and
erectile dysfunction (ED). One study reviewed 120 patients with severe ED and gum disease.. Half of the
patients received treatment for their gum disease and the other half did not. The patients who received
dental treatment for their periodontal disease had improved levels of ED.

Since Taiwan has a universal healthcare system covering all residents, they have several studies showing
a strong association between periodontal disease and erectile dysfunction. One 2014 study from Taiwan
determined that men diagnosed with ED were almost 80% more likely to have chronic periodontal
disease than men without erectile dysfunction.

Studies from Israel, India, Japan, and Korea have all reached the same conclusion, that periodontal
disease and erectile dysfunction are linked. With these findings, it makes sense to recommend cleaning
between the teeth every single day to reduce dental plaque and gum inflammation.

If you are experiencing ED, you may want to schedule a dental appointment to check for gum disease.
Dr. Lauren and a highly-trained dental hygienist will help you manage and treat it. It may take a few
appointments over time to treat it, but it’s definitely worth it.

You can prevent gum disease by:
– Brushing your teeth for two minutes, two times a day with fluoridated toothpaste
– Flossing or using a Waterpik at least once a day- 40% of your tooth surfaces can’t be reached by
a toothbrush!
– Visiting your dentist regularly


1. Singh VP, Nettemu SK, Nettem S, Hosadurga R, Nayak SU. Oral Health and Erectile
Dysfunction. J Hum Reprod Sci. 2017;10(3):162–166. doi:10.4103/jhrs.JHRS_87_17
2. Eltas A; Oguz F, Uslu MO, Akdemir E. The effect of periodontal treatment in improving erectile
dysfunction: A randomized controlled trial. J Clin Periodontal. 2013;40:148-54.
3. Tsao CW, Liu CY, Cha TL, et al. Exploration of the association between chronic periodontal
disease and erectile dysfunction from a population-based view point. Andrologia. 2014; 47:513-8.