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Severe Gum Disease May Be Linked to Impotence
Date:12/4/2012

as aging, smoking, diabetes mellitus and coronary artery disease," Oguz explained. His study was published Dec. 4 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

The researchers compared 80 men with erectile dysfunction to 82 men without the problem. All were between 30 and 40 years old and were patients of Oguz's urology department.

People were excluded from the study if they had a systemic disease such as diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure, if they had been undergoing therapy for gum disease within the last year, if they were taking oral antibiotics within the last six months and if they smoked. The results of the study were also adjusted for body mass index (a measure of body fat), household income and education level.

All of the patients underwent a periodontal exam by a periodontist who had no knowledge of whether any patient had an erectile dysfunction problem. The researchers found that chronic periodontitis is present more often in patients with erectile dysfunction than in those without the problem.

Some experts questioned the study results.

"Periodontal disease might be associated with other underlying disease, but erectile dysfunction? I would strongly disagree; it's not a causative condition," said Dr. Bruce Gilbert, a professor of urology at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, in Lake Success, N.Y. "But I would say that the study results implore us to consider that diseases of the mouth are something to consider when we assess the overall health of the body."

Gilbert was concerned that researchers did not find out enough about the men who reported erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction, he explained, is typically a problem for much older men. "The problem can be neurological, hormonal, psychogenic, especially in men of this age," he noted. "The participants just filled out a form about sexual dysfunction? That was not enough."

Dr. Nancy Newhouse, president of the American Academy o
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