The dentist probably isn’t the first place most men think to go when they experience erectile dysfunction (ED), but perhaps it should be. Several studies have found that gum disease can affect a man’s $exual health, so skipping dental appointments could really bring down your game in the bedroom. This mind-blowing connection is definitely worth a closer look.

The Science

A study conducted in Taiwan and published in 2015 found that men with the periodontal disease and gum inflammation were 79% more likely to have erectile dysfunction than men without dental health issues. A similar 2014 study at the University of Malatya in Turkey produced equally bizarre results using patient data and the International Index of Erectile Dysfunction. The study in Turkey concluded that gum disease and inflammation were present in 53% of the impotent men studies. Many of these men were less than 36 years of age but were in the need of medical care from centres like Advanced Urology that can assist them and find a solution for their condition.

How It Happens

Now that you know that poor oral health can contribute to ED, you’re probably wondering how. We’ve known for a long time that periodontal disease is linked to heart disease, and oral health affects the penis because it affects the circulatory system. If you have gum disease, then you have bacteria in your mouth as well as inflamed cells due to your bodies immune response. Unfortunately, the bacteria and inflamed cells don’t always stay in your mouth and can be carried via the bloodstream to other parts of your body, clogging up your arteries and making it harder for your blood to flow through the restricted vessels. All of this creates inflamed endothelial cells, which are found throughout the lining your arteries. This means blood flow can be restricted in any part of your body, including your penis. In fact, the veins in your penis are likely to be affected first, since they are 25% smaller than larger arteries.

Fixing It

The good news is you don’t have to take ED pills or other medications to fix this problem. You may be able to turn things around naturally with regular tooth brushing, flossing and dental checkups. This is especially important if you have a family history of gum disease, as this makes you more likely to get it. A heart-healthy diet is also a good idea as it may improve both your overall heart health and your ED, minimizing future arterial buildup and cleaning out any existing problems.

Of course, a beautiful smile is an attractive feature, so keeping your teeth healthy may be beneficial to your bedroom performance in more ways than one. While the data on ED and periodontal disease is not conclusive enough to claim that gum disease always causes ED, there is certainly enough evidence linking the two to make regular dental checkups worth the effort.