Sound nuts? Maybe, but it’s true. Men who regularly brush their teeth are less likely to have bad breath and gum disease. And men with gum disease are three times more likely to have erection problems than those with cleaner mouths. (The fact that men with bad breath have more trouble getting dates, which leads to less sex, is a completely separate issue.)
Researchers in Turkey compared two groups of 30-40-year old men, one group had erectile dysfunction, the other didn’t. More than half (53%) of the guys with ED had inflamed gums, compared to less than a quarter (23%) of the guys without erection problems. But when the researchers factored out other factors such as weight, income, and education level, they found that men with severe gum disease were 3.29 percent more likely to have ED than those with normal gums. These findings were published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
The big question we have is how gum disease could possibly influence erections. Well, according to the study’s lead author, Dr. Faith Oguz, of Inonu University in Turkey, it’s pretty simple. “Many studies have reported that chronic periodontitis may induce vascular diseases, such as coronary heart disease, which have been linked with erection problems.”