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Dr. Edwards' Blog

Erectile Dysfunction Linked to Gum Disease-June 30, 2011

Periodontal disease is affecting more than just your teeth, gums and bones of the jaw.  In a recent study, periodontal disease has been linked to yet another disorder -- erectile dysfunction.

The findings agree with a previous study that showed periodontitis is more common in men with erectile dysfunction than men without erectile dysfunction.

Periodontal Disease is an indicator of overall poor health, which increases risk for a whole host of disease and disorders, erectile dysfunction just being a new one in a long list.  Conditions such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes have also been linked with erectile dysfunction.

They found periodontal disease increased inflammation in the rats' bodies resulting in less of a needed enzyme to produce an erection. Inflammation is an immune response and can be beneficial when your body is fighting off infection, but chronically high levels are known to be bad for overall health.

Earlier studies have found the men with erectile dysfunction have higher levels of certain inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein, in their bodies.  C-reactive protein is a marker linked with impending heart attacks in patients with high levels.

Another major cause of inflammation is abdominal fat, Meldrum said, which is also a known risk factor for erectile dysfunction.

Inflammation is also thought to play a role in heart disease, so it may be a common factor in periodontal disease, heart disease and erectile dysfunction.





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