Men: fix your gums, fix your sex lifeA new study announced Tuesday finds that men with inflamed gums who treat the condition may also improve their erectile dysfunction.

Previous studies have linked erectile dysfunction (ED) with periodontitis, or inflammation of the gums. Now, a new study from Inonu University in Malatya, Turkey, finds that treating the infection can lessen the symptoms of erectile dysfunction after just three months.

The researchers compared 80 men in their thirties with erectile dysfunction with a control group of 82 men without erection problems. In the sample, 53 percent of the men with ED had inflamed gums compared to 23 percent in the control group. Men with severe periodontal disease were more than three times more likely to suffer from erection problems that men with healthy gums.

“Erectile dysfunction is a major public health problem that affects the quality of life of some 150 million men, and their partners, worldwide,” says lead author Dr. Faith Oguz. “Physical factors cause nearly two-thirds of cases, mainly because of problems with the blood vessels, with psychological issues like emotional stress and depression accounting for the remainder.”

The peer-reviewed findings appear online in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.