A toothbrush doesn’t sound like the sexiest thing to pack for an overnight rendezvous but — trust us — it’s more necessary than you might think. A new study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that periodontitis, a chronic infection of the gums, not only is the main source of bad breath; it also may contribute to erectile dysfunction. Two things that you definitely don’t want to have when wooing a woman.
Researchers at China’s Luzhou Medical College found that rats with periodontitis had less of the enzyme eNOS, which helps males achieve an erection. This supports human research that shows men with erectile dysfunction are more likely to have gum disease than those who don’t have it.
While both studies exhibit a strong link, experts say more studies are needed to identify the exact association between periodontal disease and men’s sexual health.
According to Donald S. Clem, DSS, president of the American Academy of Periodontology, chronic periodontitis may just be a marker for other issues previously linked to ED, like poor nutrition, diabetes and heart disease.
So men, take time to see your dentist twice a year and brush and floss regularly. Taking care of your teeth will help your overall health — and perhaps help you avoid that little blue pill.