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Are Low Testosterone and Gum Infection Linked?

There is a debate in the medical community as to whether there is an association between low testosterone and chronic periodontitis, a serious infection of the gums.

To investigate this question, a team of researchers searched across several databases, finding eight relevant studies.

The approach of the studies varied broadly, with the number of study participants ranging from 24 to 1,838 male individuals and ages ranging from 15 to 95 years. Seven studies measured testosterone levels in serum, two studies in saliva, and one study in gingiva.

According to the researchers, four studies reported a negative association between serum testosterone levels and chronic periodontitis, while two studies reported a positive association between decreased testosterone levels in serum and chronic periodontitis. Increased levels of salivary testosterone among patients with chronic periodontitis were reported in one study. However, another study reported no significant difference in the concentration of salivary testosterone between patients with and without chronic periodontitis. Yet another study identified significant increase in the metabolism of testosterone in the gingiva of patients with chronic periodontitis.

The bottom line? While it seems that chronic periodontitis could be a factor in men's testosterone levels and reproductive health, the study could not identify a clear relationship between low testosterone levels and chronic periodontitis.  Despite this, the researchers believe that further studies and control trials are warranted, so the definitive answer may still be forthcoming.

The study was published in the American Journal of Men’s Health.

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