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Gum disease and erectile dysfunction

How gum disease impacts men's health

February 09, 2016

If you’re familiar with DC comics, then you know kryptonite is Superman’s weakness. It takes away his powers, turning him into a mere mortal. Gum disease has a similar effect on the (super) men in our lives.

Poor dental care among men can have health impacts far more serious than a toothache. It’s been linked to many illnesses, including erectile dysfunction.

The reason: less than 50% of men brush twice a day. And (super) men are less likely to seek preventative dental care until a problem is too painful. This lack of attention to their smiles often leads to gum disease, a chronic inflammatory infection of gum tissue.

Dr. Kyle Dosch, Dental Director for Delta Dental of Washington, notes, “Current research suggests chronic inflammation in the mouth may link periodontal disease with an increased risk for developing a variety of systemic health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and impotence.”

Over a third (34%) of men between 30 and 54 have gum disease. Here’s how the research reveals it may impact their overall health:

• Gum disease increases a man’s risk of kidney cancer (49%), pancreatic cancer (54%) and blood cancers (30%)

• Gum disease is seven times more common in men with erectile dysfunction

• Plaque buildup on teeth allows for bacteria to easily access your bloodstream, triggering inflammation in the arteries, a risk for those predisposed to heart disease

Fortunately, unlike Superman and kryptonite, men can prevent gum disease by:

• Brushing for 2 minutes, 2 times a day

• Flossing at least once a day—it cleans the 40% of your tooth surfaces brushing can’t reach

• Visiting your dentist regularly

It’s that simple. All Supermen deserve a healthy smile.

Need a dentist? Use our Find a dentist tool to search for one near you.

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