The human body is an interconnected system of individual parts that can only function in unison. The problems of one part of the body will affect your overall health, which in turn affects the rest of your body, and cause problems that are unforeseeable. The mouth is one of the nexuses of the body: since food goes in there, so many nerves and veins go through there that the problems of the mouth are bound to affect the rest of the body. One unfortunate consequence of chronic conditions in the mouth is erectile dysfunction or ED.
What is ED and what causes it?
Erectile dysfunction is when the penis cannot get fully erect, even when excited. This can be caused by a number of things; the veins might be clogged and blood flow may not be adequate, or the nerves may be damaged and not receive the proper impulses, or the tissues may be damaged and leaking blood, or a host of other things could go wrong in this very sensitive and complex area.
The link with periodontitis
Periodontitis is the medical term for an inflammation of the gums. This means that a bacterial infection has occurred and a bacterial colony is living in the soft tissues of the mouth. These bacteria create plaque, and cause inflammations and clog veins and blood vessels. They also like to travel, and the oral cavity gives them plenty of options to do so. This way they can make their way down to the genitals (as well as the arteries, intestines, larynx and pretty much any place affected by the blood supply), and start living in the veins, arteries and capillaries there, clogging them and leading to erectile dysfunction.
The study Andrologia, which is one of the foremost scientific periodicals, dedicated to men’s health issues has released some very interesting finds in this area. Some 80 per cent of men who were diagnosed with erectile dysfunction had periodontitis as well. In this case, the large amounts of plaque travelled around the body and destroyed the endothelial cells that form the lining of the blood vessels in the penis and in other parts of the body.
The effects of ED caused by periodontitis are reversible! Once the teeth were cleaned and the source of the periodontitis was removed, the body started seeing healthy blood flow again, and the endothelial cells can regenerate and be repaired by the body.