Is Your Dental Condition Killing Your Sex Drive?

The Condition of Your Mouth Matters

If you have problems with your sex drive, you do not want to overlook the condition of your teeth and gums. The presence of gum disease can cause low libido – whether you are a man or a woman. Taking care of the problem may be able to give your bedroom activities a real boost and improve your sex life.

The Connection

Although the connection between the condition of your teeth and gums and your sex drive may not seem apparent, they really do have an effect. When bacteria in your mouth cause gum disease, it also produces inflammation in the gums. Once it is in the gums, the bacterium causing it enters your bloodstream and then it travels throughout your body – causing inflammation everywhere it goes.

As the inflammation goes through your body, it narrows blood vessels – including those that matter when you need it for sex. This reduces the flow of blood to your genitals, which leads to a lower sex drive and erectile dysfunction (ED) in men.

Inflammation and Other Health Problems

In addition to causing a low sex drive, the inflammation is also causing other potentially serious health problems. Inflammation is now known to cause such problems as cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer's, diabetes, infertility, low birth weight, and several forms of cancer.

Women and Decreased Libido

Women can have many reasons for a loss of interest in sex. One important cause of low libido in women is the fluctuation of hormones. There are several potential causes of changes in hormones, and it may even be the hormones that help most women avoid the more serious forms of periodontitis. Causes may include menstruation, pregnancy, birth control pills, breastfeeding, menopause, medications, and more.

Birth control pills can also promote gum disease. This can make it a little harder to control gum disease during those times, but ongoing dental care can help control the problem – as long as it is not periodontitis.

An increase in the hormones estrogen and progesterone means that there is an increase in blood flow to the gums. Since this increase causes women to be more careful about keeping their teeth clean because of this, it can result in swelling, bleeding, and inflammation. When untreated, it can lead to periodontitis – and teeth becoming loose, and possibly tooth loss.

Men and Periodontal Disease

Men are more likely to get serious periodontal disease than women. Periodontal disease is caused by the same bacteria that causes gingivitis, only it has progressed further and the damage is evident – and it will get worse. It could lead to your teeth becoming loose and even falling out.

One thing that is certain to kill your sex drive is knowing that you have problems with erectile dysfunction. This certainly makes it very frustrating for both partners. A recent study revealed that as many as 79 percent of the men that have ED also had chronic periodontal disease.

Another study found that when men began to be treated for periodontal disease that their symptoms of ED began to improve. The longer the treatment went and the better their gums improved, the better their sexual performance in bed. This can certainly make you and your partner more encouraged to have sex.

Treating Early Gum Disease

If you have the start of gum disease, which has symptoms of bleeding and inflamed gums, you need to stop it before it affects your libido. In most cases, you can often eliminate gingivitis by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily.

Since the bacteria that cause gum disease and cavities creates the damage by making acid, brushing and flossing can help reduce dental problems. The acid is produced whenever the bacteria come in contact with sugar and carbs. Leaving bits of food between your teeth (not flossing), or drinking sugary drinks often, means that your teeth will experience greater amounts of damage. Eliminating gum disease while it still is not serious can help improve sex drive, or prevent it from lagging.

Low Testosterone and Periodontitis

Another condition that has been shown to cause dental problems and to lower your sex drive is low testosterone. When testosterone levels are low it also increases your risk of periodontal disease.

Treatment for Periodontitis

If you have periodontitis, you will need to see a dentist for an evaluation and treatment. There are four levels of periodontitis, based on the severity of damage to the gums, teeth, and jawbone. While medications may be all that is needed, other treatments, including surgery to restore your bone, gums, and teeth are also available.

Getting your sex drive back may start with making a visit to a dentist. Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, is a Board-certified Periodontist located in the Carrollton, TX and Grapevine, TX areas. For more information about his services and how he can help you with gum disease, or to set up an appointment, you can call his office today at (817) 756-8578.