Severe gum disease, impotence may be linked

Severe gum disease, impotence may be linked
Men younger than 30, over 70 at particular risk, study shows.

(HealthDay) -- Men with severe gum disease, known as periodontitis, are at greater risk for impotence, according to a new study that finds young men and the elderly at particular risk.

The researchers from Taiwan used data from a large study to identify almost 33,000 men with erectile dysfunction and randomly selected about 162,000 men without this condition.

Of these , about 12 percent had periodontitis. This group with included about 27 percent of the men with erectile dysfunction and about 9 percent of those without . The men were followed for five years.

The study found gum disease was much more prevalent among the men with erectile dysfunction than the . After taking into account other , such as income and pre-existing medical conditions, the researchers found gum disease was still linked to impotence, particularly in men younger than 30 and those older than 70.

"Understanding all aspects of how and why a occurs is vital to prevention and treatment goals," said Dr. Tobias Kohler, a member of the American Urology Association Public Media Committee, in a committee news release. "This new study demonstrates how seemingly unrelated conditions can in fact be connected, underscoring the need for further research and education."

The study did not show that gum disease causes , merely that an association exists between the two.

One expert put forth a theory on a potential link between diseased gums and erectile dysfunction.

"I think the link between erectile dysfunction and gum disease is likely due to inflammation in the body, and the damage in the blood vessels supplying the penis," said Dr. Aaron Katz, chairman of the department of urology at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, NY. He added that men who have periodontitis should avail themselves of good dental care to help address the problem.

The researchers are from the Far Eastern Memorial Hospital and the Herng-Ching Lin School of Health Care Administration at Taipei Medical University. The study was to be presented Monday at a meeting of the American Urological Association, in Atlanta.

Data and conclusions presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

More information: The U.S. National Institutes of Health provides more information on gum disease.

Related Stories

Prevent smoking to reduce risk of erectile dysfunction

Jul 27, 2007

Men who smoke cigarettes run an increased risk of experiencing erectile dysfunction, and the more cigarettes smoked, the greater the risk, according to a study by Tulane University researchers published in the American Journal ...

Recommended for you

Want whiter teeth? Fruit mixture is not the answer

Oct 14, 2014

Can you ditch the strips and dump the dentist for whiter teeth? From "The Dr. Oz Show" to YouTube videos, experts say you can reclaim those pearly whites simply by mixing fruit, such as strawberries, with ...

Survey of toddlers' teeth shows ticking time bomb

Oct 06, 2014

The first ever survey of oral health in three-year-olds in England has been conducted by Public Health England, which released its report this week. It made shocking reading – some 12 per cent of toddlers ...

Novel technology used to make restorative dental material

Oct 02, 2014

A novel dental restorative material that should make life easier for dental care experts and their patients, which is based on technology developed by a team of University of Colorado Boulder engineers, was unveiled today ...

User comments