Oral Health Can Affect Your Sexual Life!

Best Andrologist in Hyderabad

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Rahul Reddy,
May 11, 2024

oral health affects sex life

Oral health affects sex life: Oral hygiene is important for the growth of beneficial bacteria. When you brush your teeth, floss, and scrap your tongue, harmful bacteria that grow on the surface of the gums and tongue get eliminated and good bacteria flourish. These beneficial bacteria play an important role in your sexual life and cardiovascular health.

In a nutshell, oral hygiene and tongue cleaning favors beneficial bacteria. Therefore, recent studies show a link between oral hygiene and better cardiovascular, sexual, and overall health [1].

Bacteria such as Neisseria belonging to the oral microbiome are involved in denitrification using nitrates from dietary sources. Let us try to understand how this process impacts your sexual and cardiovascular health.

Production of Nitric Oxide and Its Health Benefits

Nitric oxide is formed through the process of reduction of inorganic nitrate to nitrite (Nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway).

Nitrate circulates in plasma and gets actively absorbed by salivary glands, and then concentrated. In saliva, nitrate concentration increases by up to 10 to 20 times more than that of blood.

Commensal bacteria are present in the oral cavity (mouth), especially on the tongue (facultative anaerobic bacteria). They use this nitrate to produce energy (ATP) and convert it into nitrite. This is the first step of the reduction of nitrate to nitrite.

Half of this nitrite is transferred to the acidic stomach and is metabolized to Nitric oxide.

The other half is reabsorbed and circulates in the plasma to increase plasma concentrations of nitrite. This nitrite under favorable and suitable physiological conditions, may get converted into nitric oxide [NO] in the blood and tissues.

 If you are still unaware of the health benefits of nitrates in your diet; dietary sources of nitrates; nitrite reserves in your body and nitric oxide functions, then you should read:

  1. Nitric Oxide [NO] – A Supermolecule with Huge Health Benefits


  1. Foods That Boost Nitric Oxide Production in your Body


Protective function of High Salivary Nitrate

and high nitrate-reducing capacity of commensal microbes

Commensal microbes such as Neisseria bacteria present in your mouth have potentially high nitrate-reducing capacity. This protective ability is a boon against dental caries and cavities formation.

To study the protective role of these bacteria, researchers carried out a study on 209 children from the Dental Institute Barts and The London NHS Trust.

They recorded salivary nitrate and nitrite levels and counts of Lactobacillus species and Streptococcus mutants and caries experience among the subjects.

They reported a significant reduction in caries formation in children with high salivary nitrate and high nitrate-reducing ability compared with control subjects.

They concluded that oral commensal nitrate-reducing bacteria played a significant role in limiting the growth of cariogenic (caries-forming) bacteria. This was due to the formation of antimicrobial oxide of nitrogen – i.e., nitric oxide [NO] by the commensal bacteria [2].

Tongue Scraping Can Enhance Nitric Oxide Production

Tongue scraping: You run a simple tool across your tongue to remove debris, food particles, and bacteria from the surface of your tongue.

Tongue scraping can help maintain an apt balance of good bacteria (commensal bacteria like Neisseria) in your mouth. Good commensal bacteria in your mouth produce nitric oxide. It has numerous health benefits including better heart and erectile function.

Regular brushing and flossing can also help in improving oral dental health and hygiene.

Watch: Can Tongue Scraping Enhance Nitric Oxide for Better Heart Health?

Oral Health Affects Sex Life

The link between Gum Disease and erectile dysfunction: Periodontal disease (PD) and erectile dysfunction (ED) share the same risk factors such as smoking, age, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. However, over the past decade, a piece of increasing evidence has linked erectile dysfunction to periodontal disease.

According to a review study published in the British Dental Journal (BDJ),

With the title, “The Effects of Oral Health on Erectile Dysfunction [3]”

Three common findings emerged:

  • Periodontitis is a risk factor for erectile dysfunction
  • The severity of periodontitis relates to the severity of erectile dysfunction
  • Periodontal treatment improves erectile dysfunction

These findings provide a piece of strong evidence that shows a direct association linking periodontitis and ED. Thus, oral health affects sex life.

Periodontal Bacteria Affect Endothelial Function

Periodontal bacteria like Porphyromonas gingivitis or their toxin enter blood circulation and attack arterial walls and then cause atherosclerosis, and vascular inflammation and thus affect endothelial function [4].

Based on the available studies and reviews, a piece of strong evidence indicates a positive link between chronic periodontitis and erectile dysfunction. Experts also consider chronic periodontitis a strong risk factor for erectile dysfunction. Therefore, periodontal treatment is beneficial in the improvement of erectile dysfunction (ED) [4].

Conclusion:  oral health and hygiene is a preventive medicine for erectile dysfunction (ED). Healthcare professionals, therefore advise patients to see their dentists regularly for oral health screening and to catch gingivitis and periodontal disease (PD) early for effective treatment.

Preventive Dental Care can help

Maintaining oral hygiene and good dental care is relatively easy. Unfortunately, many of us don’t do it – partly due to negligence and mainly due to a carefree attitude. The reason, we are mostly unaware of the serious consequences of bad oral hygiene and dental care. Some people do take care of their oral health – but ironically don’t do brushing and cleaning properly. They don’t even bother to get their dental cleaning done by professionals.

If you think you are overdue for your professional dental checkup, then, “this is the right time to book your appointment with an experienced dentist,” says Dr. Hormuzd K Vakil.

Oral health Affects Sex Life

According to Dr. Hormuzd K Vakil – an expert periodontist and implant surgeon from Hyderabad, any delay in consulting a dentist can augment the severity of the condition manifolds – leading to several health issues in the long run including the much-unwanted impact on your sexual life.

Dr. Vakil further adds that any good periodontist can check the health of your teeth and the stage of gum disease and devise a suitable treatment plan accordingly. He further recommends regular professional dental cleanings to lessen the chances of developing gum disease.

The best advice for you right now…

Go to a dentist – bring your gums and teeth back in good shape by following the best advice, and using the best cleaning tools. Once you start taking care of your teeth and gums, they remain in good condition. It becomes quite natural for you to keep them that way for the rest of your life. In this way, you can lessen the chances of experiencing severe health issues including erectile dysfunction.

Bottom Line

Your oral health and hygiene are very important for your healthy sex life. Numerous research papers and studies have linked serious dental conditions such as periodontitis to the development of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and erectile dysfunction. Therefore, if you want a healthy sexual life, a healthy body, and a healthy mind – you must take diligent care of your mouth. Furthermore, you can become more attractive to your partner if your teeth are in good shape (clean and healthy) and your breath feels fresh to her.

Next, read – Does your sex lie in your tummy?

Coming soon…


  1. Pathways Linking Oral Bacteria, Nitric Oxide Metabolism, and Health

           E Morou-Bermúdez 1, J E Torres-Colón


  1. Protective effect of salivary nitrate and microbial nitrate reductase activity against caries. Doel J J, Hector M P, Amirtham C V et al. Eur J Oral Sci2004; 112: 424–428.


  1. The effects of oral health on erectile dysfunction. Connolly, L. BDJ Team9, 29–31 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41407-022-0805-2
  2. Oral Health and Erectile Dysfunction. Singh VP, Nettemu SK, Nettem S, Hosadurga R, Nayak SU. J Hum Reprod Sci. 2017 Jul-Sep;10(3):162-166. doi: 10.4103/jhrs.JHRS_87_17. PMID: 29142443; PMCID: PMC5672720.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *