Gum Health Affects Erectile Function


If you’ve been experiencing some difficulties in the bedroom, how are your gums and teeth? Surprisingly, there is a connection between your oral health and erectile function. Therefore, rather than worrying about getting it up, perhaps you should pick up a toothbrush and some dental floss and then the phone to make an appointment to see your dentist. But first, read what experts have to say about gum health and erectile dysfunction (ED).

Connection Between Gums And The Penis

The connection between gum health and how the penis functions has been the subject of various research studies over the past few years. A major part of the relationship appears to involve inflammation. Here’s an example.

In a new study (December 2012) published online in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, a Turkish research team evaluated 80 men aged 30 to 40 who had erectile dysfunction and compared them with 82 men without erection problems. They found that 53 percent of the men who had erectile dysfunction had gum inflammation (a major symptom of periodontal disease) compared with only 23 percent of the men without erectile challenges.

According to the study’s lead author, Dr. Faith Oguz from Inonu University in Malatya, Turkey: “Chronic periodontitis (CP) is a group of infectious diseases caused predominantly by bacteria that most commonly occur with inflammation of the gums.” It’s also been shown that chronic periodontitis is associated with vascular diseases, which in turn have been linked with erectile dysfunction.

To help make these new findings even more valid, the authors excluded men from the study if they had systemic vascular disease or if they smoked, since both are risk factors for erectile dysfunction. Dr. Oguz pointed out that their results should prompt doctors to consider gum health when they are treating men who have erectile problems. [1]

For more evidence of a connection between the gums and the penis, we can look at the results of a much larger study, which were recently published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology. In that nationwide evaluation, data on 32,856 men with erectile dysfunction and 162,480 controls (without erectile dysfunction) were analyzed. After allowing for factors such as heart disease, obesity, alcohol abuse and diabetes (risk factors for erectile dysfunction), the reviewers found that 8,825 men (26.9 percent) with erectile dysfunction had chronic periodontitis compared with 15,469 men (9.4 percent) in the control group. The relationship was much stronger for men younger than 30 and for those older than 69 years. [2]

Here’s one more study to consider before you make that dental appointment. In it, the investigators focused on the fact that periodontitis is an important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and that erectile dysfunction is strongly associated with cardiovascular disease. Then they looked for the possible reason.

They used a rat model to evaluate the effect of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (nitric oxide plays a major role in causing an erection) in the penile tissue of rats with periodontitis. After a series of experiments, they determined that the inability to achieve an erection is related to periodontitis, and that a decline in the expression and activity of nitric oxide synthase caused by inflammation in periodontitis “may be one of the important risk factors of ED.” [3]

How Are Your Gums?

Every day ,we learn more and more about the holistic nature of human health. The connection between gum health and the penis is real, and you can take steps to ensure both your oral health and sexual health are the best they can be. You can help prevent erectile dysfunction by brushing your teeth, using dental floss and seeing your dentist regularly for cleanings and any necessary oral care. If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction, be sure to talk to your doctor about your dental health as well.

For more men’s health information visit


[1] Is there a relationship between chronic periodontitis and erectile dysfunction?

[2] A nationwide population-based study on the association between chronic periodontitis and erectile dysfunction.

[3] Effect of periodontitis on erectile function and its possible mechanism.


Dr. Geo Espinosa

By Dr. Geo Espinosa

Dr. Geo Espinosa is a naturopathic doctor, licensed acupuncturist and certified functional medicine practitioner recognized as an authority in holistic urology and men’s health. He is Clinical Assistant Professor and holistic clinician in Urology at New York University Langone Medical Center. As an avid researcher and writer, Dr. Geo has authored numerous scientific papers and books including co-editing the Integrative Sexual Health book, and author of the best selling prostate cancer book: Thrive, Don't Only Survive.