Keeping your teeth clean and buildup-free might have some below-the-belt benefits, too:
Men with chronic periodontitis—inflammation of the gums that often develops as a result of plaque build-up—are more than twice as likely to have erectile dysfunction, a new meta-analysis from China concluded.
Related: 4 Ways To Protect Your Erection
Inflammation caused by gum disease can damage blood vessels in your penis, impeding the blood flow necessary for an erection, as we’ve previously reported.
In a similar study, researchers from Turkey found that men with ED are three times more likely to have gum disease than guys without penis problems.
Related: The Penis Problem You Shouldn’t Ignore
And the odds go up the worse your impotence: The British Dental Health Foundation reports that 4 out of 5 men with severe erectile dysfunction also had gum disease.
As your teeth decay, your immune system attacks pathogens in your mouth. The bacteria then seep into your bloodstream, damaging blood vessels and blood flow, the researchers explain.
Related: 10 Easy Ways To Avoid Erectile Dysfunction
Luckily, regular flossing and brushing (twice a day!) can help more than just your gums.