Chronic gum dis­ease tied to risk of erec­tile dys­func­tion

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

Erec­tile dys­func­tion is more com­mon in men with gum dis­ease, ac­cord­ing to a new re­view of ex­ist­ing stud­ies. Chronic bac­te­rial in­fec­tion of the gums, or pe­ri­odon­ti­tis, is com­mon and a ma­jor cause of tooth loss for adults, the au­thors write. The con­di­tion has been tied to a higher risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease and gen­eral in­flam­ma­tion, which in turn have been tied stroke and har­den­ing of the ar­ter­ies. Stroke and har­den­ing of the ar­ter­ies are also as­so­ci­ated with erec­tile dys­func­tion (ED).

“In our opin­ion, the ac­tual bi­o­log­i­cal mech­a­nism of ED in pe­ri­odon­ti­tis pa­tients re­mains poorly un­der­stood,” said se­nior au­thor Dr. Zhi­gang Zhao of The First Af­fil­i­ated Hospi­tal of Guangzhou Med­i­cal Univer­sity in China. “It might still be too early to sug­gest that men with ED should have their teeth checked; and that men with chronic pe­ri­odon­ti­tis should worry about their sex­ual func­tion,” Zhao said. “How­ever, it might be ben­e­fi­cial to in­form pa­tients with chronic pe­ri­odon­ti­tis about its as­so­ci­a­tion with ED.”The re­view­ers an­a­lyzed data from five stud­ies pub­lished be­tween 2009 and 2014, in­clud­ing one ran­dom­ized con­trolled trial. In to­tal, the stud­ies cov­ered 213,000 par­tic­i­pants aged 20 to 80.

Each study found erec­tile dys­func­tion was more com­mon among men be­ing treated for chronic pe­ri­odon­ti­tis, par­ticu- larly for those younger than 40 and older than 59. Af­ter ac­count­ing for diabetes, which can in­flu­ence both gum dis­ease and sex­ual func­tion, erec­tile dys­func­tion was 2.28 times more com­mon for men with pe­ri­odon­ti­tis than for men with­out it, ac­cord­ing to the re­port in the In­ter­na­tional Jour­nal of Im­po­tence Re­search. “Since chronic pe­ri­odon­ti­tis had been linked with sev­eral chronic dis­or­ders, it is sen­si­ble to rec­om­mend daily in­ter-den­tal clean­ing to re­duce den­tal plaque and gin­gi­val in­flam­ma­tion,” Zhao said. “Chronic pe­ri­odon­ti­tis treat­ment can con­trol or elim­i­nate in­flam­ma­tion and may re­duce the risk of ED.”

One study in 2013 found that treat­ing pe­ri­odon­ti­tis im­proves erec­tile dys­func­tion symp­toms. “Fur­ther­more, clin­i­cians should be aware of the po­ten­tial role played by pe­ri­odon­ti­tis dis­ease in the de­vel­op­ment of erec­tile dys­func­tion,” Zhao said. The new re­view did have lim­i­ta­tions, in­clud­ing the fact that erec­tile dys­func­tion and chronic pe­ri­odon­ti­tis are caused by sim­i­lar risk fac­tors, such as aging, smok­ing, diabetes mel­li­tus and coro­nary artery dis­ease. While some stud­ies did ac­count for diabetes, most did not ac­count for smok­ing or al­co­hol con­sump­tion, which can also af­fect oral health and sex­ual func­tion, the au­thors write. Even af­ter an ex­haus­tive search, the ev­i­dence link­ing pe­ri­odon­ti­tis and ED is limited, they write.—Reuters

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