You’re probably wondering what in the world does your mouthwash and oral health have to do with your penis. Well, as it turns out quite a bit. One of the, if not thee, most important elements for preserving and enhancing erectile function is strong and healthy blood vessels. The healthier the blood vessels, the greater the blood flow and quality of erection (in most cases)! That’s why you may have heard before how a decline of erections, whether mild or severe erectile dysfunction, is often an early warning sign of vascular disease which can ultimately lead to serious events like heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, and sudden death. Be sure to consult your doctor to learn what you can do to repair damage and prevent future problems with individualized lifestyle coaching, effective Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, and Pulse Wave Therapy (also known as Shock Wave Therapy). Click here to learn more.
Nitric Oxide - A Major Player in Erectile Function
One the key players in maintaining the health of the blood vessel lining, known as the endothelium, is Nitric Oxide (NO). NO helps open and relax the blood vessels in the penis, and increase it’s blood flow and oxygen delivery, all of which are critical for optimal sexual function. In fact, did you know NO is central to the way Viagra and Cialis work? Medications that treat erectile dysfunction increase nitric oxide by blocking its breakdown so that it lives longer in your system to help sustain a firm erection. It’s important to NOT take any NO supplements, Nitroglycerin, or Isosorbide nitrate medications with Viagra or Cialis, as this can cause serious medical emergencies. Make sure to speak with your physician or pharmacist for guidance on how to take medications and NO boosting substances safely and effectively. To learn more about the far reaching benefits and pharmacology of Nitric Oxide (NO), read What Every Man Should Now About Nitric Oxide.
Mouthwash has been shown to decrease Nitric Oxide
About 50% of our NO production comes from our diet through the consumption of nitrate-rich green leafy vegetables. Humans don’t have the enzymes necessary to convert these nitrates from food into nitrites needed to make blood vessel dilating NO, so we’re 100% dependent on the oral nitrate-reducing bacteria in our mouth to get the job done. Unfortunately, the use of antimicrobial or antiseptic mouthwash kills these bacteria, hindering your body’s ability to produce the NO necessary prevent high blood pressure and sexual dysfunction.
Good Ol' Oral Hygiene is KEY
Although more studies are needed to determine differences among the variety of mouthwash products currently on the market and their individual effect on NO and erectile function, it seems it may be best to stick to good ol' oral hygiene habits, and spare the use of antiseptic mouthwash for more severe conditions such as gingivitis and periodontal disease where it's better justified. Chronic periodontal disease(CPD) is an infection that occurs when the gums pull away from the teeth, creating deep pockets that harbor bacteria and spread to the bone surrounding the teeth. In a recent study from Taiwan, men with erectile dysfunction were shown to be 79 percent more likely to have been diagnosed with CPD, further indicating the importance of oral health on sexual health. The good news is CPD is almost entirely preventable by following good oral hygiene such as brushing teeth twice daily for 2 minutes, daily flossing, and regular cleanings and checkups with your dentist - a small price to pay. After all, lifestyle is the most powerful medicine!