A recent study has revealed erectile dysfunction can be linked to gum disease.
The research, carried out on 70 male subjects, showed a correlation between gum disease and the ability to achieve an erection.
The data indicates that as the severity of erectile dysfunction increased, so did the prevalence of chronic periodontitis (gum disease).
Overall, more than four out of five men (81.8%) with severe erectile dysfunction had gum disease.
In comparison, in cases of mild erectile dysfunction, the incidence of gum disease was less than two in five men.
According to the National Institutes of Health, erectile dysfunction is defined as the inability to attain and or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance.
It is a condition that affects one in 10 men worldwide, and is more commonly experienced after the age of 40.
Chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, believes the stigma attached to the subject could be forcing men up and down the country to turn a blind eye on their oral health.
Dr Carter said: ‘To associate gum disease, the major preventable cause of tooth loss in adults, with such a taboo subject amongst males is not something that should be taken lightly.
‘If, in theory, four out of five men who suffer from erectile dysfunction have poor oral health, the effect it could have on their general health poses a serious health risk to those individuals affected.’
For men who experience erectile dysfunction and resulting anxiety, loss of self-esteem, lack of self-confidence, tension and difficulty in the relationship with their partner, the message is simple.
Dr Carter said: ‘As the findings of this study suggests, looking after your gums and oral health in general can reduce this risk and in turn offer better quality of life.’