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New study adds to evidence of relationship between erectile dysfunction and periodontal disease

Reducing the risk of periodontitis may help reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction. (Photograph: LightField Studios/Shutterstock)
Dental Tribune International

Dental Tribune International

Mon. 21. January 2019


GUANGZHOU, China: Growing concern over an association between erectile dysfunction and periodontal disease has propelled more research into the subject in recent years. A new systematic review and meta-analysis from the Jinan University in Guangzhou has found further evidence of a relationship between the two. The results showed that men with periodontal disease were nearly three times more likely to be at risk of erectile dysfunction.

The researchers conducted quality assessments and sensitivity analysis of the five case–control studies that met the eligibility criteria. These studies included data on over 200,000 participants. The findings suggest that periodontal disease should be included among the risk factors for erectile dysfunction.

According to the World Health Organization, severe periodontal disease was estimated to be the 11th most prevalent disease globally in 2016. Both periodontitis and erectile dysfunction have been linked to C-reactive protein (CRP), a substance produced by the liver in response to inflammation. A high level of CRP in the blood is a marker of an inflammatory condition, including inflammation of the arteries associated with heart disease. Scientists believe erectile dysfunction and periodontitis are linked in that this same type of inflammation could very well start in smaller blood vessels of both the mouth and penile area before reaching the larger arteries.

A previous study from the University of Granada in Spain, published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology last year, showed just how serious it can get. In the study, CRP levels were higher in men who had periodontitis/erectile dysfunction than men without these health problems. Furthermore, men with chronic periodontitis were twice as likely to suffer from impotence compared with men who had healthy teeth and gingivae, suggesting that treating periodontal disease to reduce inflammation of the gingivae can result in improved erectile function.

The study, titled “Updated evidence of association between periodontal disease and incident erectile dysfunction”, was published in the January 2019 issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

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