New research finds link between gum disease and erectile dysfunction

Men who suffer from periodontal disease are twice as likely to have erectile dysfunction.

Don’t go soft on your oral health routine – that’s the message from the Oral Health Foundation after new research finds a link between periodontal disease and erectile dysfunction.

The study, published in the Journal of Periodontology, reveals that men with severe periodontal disease are more than twice as likely to suffer from impotence compared to those with healthy teeth and gums.1

The first study of its kind that involved a European population examined more than 150 men, and researchers were able to determine that three in four (74%) with erectile dysfunction also had poor oral health.

In response to the findings, the Oral Health Foundation, wants to emphasise the links between advancing gum disease and issues in other parts of the body and believes the benefits of taking better care of your gums can go far beyond a healthy mouth.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, says: “As startling as these findings may be, it may turn out to be a wake-up call for men to start paying greater attention to their oral health, particularly their gums.

“In recent years, gum disease has been linked with conditions like diabetes, stroke and heart disease but an increased risk of coming up short in the bedroom may be the final straw for men who might have been reluctant to spend a little extra time looking after their gums.

The research also says that treating periodontal disease can result in improved erectile function.


1. Martin A, Bravo M, Arrabal M et al. Chronic periodontitis is associated with erectile dysfunction. A case-control study in European population. J Clin Periodontol. 2018;45:791-98.

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