by Elizabeth Renter
Periodontal (gum) disease affects a multitude of people from all walks of life. And more and more we are learning that diseases of the gums can be traced to ill health in general. One study has shown that gum disease could even cause erectile dysfunction.
According to researchers, gum disease in rats was associated with impaired sexual function. And this isn’t the first study to find a link. Another found that men who struggle with erectile dysfunction are more likely to have gum disease than those who do not.
“Identifying and treating periodontitis in the patient presenting with or without [erectile dysfunction] may improve the patient’s sexual health,” said the researchers from China’s Luzhou Medical College.
But of course the research isn’t without some critics. “I don’t think your gums are related to your penis in any reasonable way,” said one of those critics, Dr. Andrew Kramer, erectile dysfunction expert with the University of Maryland Medical Center. But what these critics should realize is that everything in our bodies is interconnected in ways we don’t even know about yet. Even Eastern medicine recognizes a potential connection between a part of the body and the health of your liver, for example.
Dr. Kramer suggested that gum disease may be an indication of poor health overall, and that poor health overall could lead to erectile dysfunction, rather than drawing a direct line from gum health to sexual health. Specifically, periodontitis has been linked with an increased risk of heart disease and inflammation – two recognized contributors to ED.
Whether the link is direct or indirect, other studies have established similarly questionable links between gum disease and certain types of cancer.
So, what’s the solution? Being healthy and maintaining proper oral health, of course. A healthy body includes healthy gums and therefore good sexual health and a decreased risk of cancer. Start brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, and why not try oil pulling to boost oral health. Oil pulling has its origins in Ayurvedic medicine and involves swishing oil in your mouth to remove impurities and promote better oral health and health overall.
Sesame, sunflower, and coconut oil are all good options for oil pulling. The best results can be found when you do it daily, before brushing and on an empty stomach. Simply swish the oil in your mouth for 15 minutes before spitting out. Who knows, a healthy mouth could lead you to a healthy sex life!
Take care of your teeth, by all means, but also eat a healthful diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, and exercise regularly.