Alexandria Old Town Dental

Dr. Longman Explains the Effects of Periodontal Disease


Alexandria, VA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/18/2014 -- The mouth is the gateway to the body and it is not a sterile one. Periodontal disease (gum disease) is a quiet, devastating infection caused by bacteria in the mouth that can also infect the body’s integral systems. These include the heart, lungs, kidney, liver and even the joints and connective tissue. Dr. Eddie Longman of Alexandria Old Town Dental asserts, “The most important thing to do if you have gum disease is to slow it down and then work on getting it stopped.”

The first and most important thing to do is to get one’s teeth cleaned professionally by a dentist or dental hygienist. Brushing and flossing can help fight plaque, but the part that doesn’t get brushed away becomes tartar that accumulates and hardens. Brushing will not get rid of the tartar—instead, it pushes the gum tissue away from the teeth, leaving a pocket where the bacteria can easily enter. Dr. Longman says, “Bacteria that get into the blood stream can wreak havoc throughout the body and become deadly.”

“Researchers have observed that people with gum disease are more likely to develop heart disease, have a stroke or, if they are diabetic, have difficulty controlling blood sugar,” claims Dr. Longman. Other health problems can also exacerbate gum disease in individuals.

Caring for your teeth has become increasingly important as research continues to link periodontal disease with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. A study by researchers from the University of Kentucky has established tooth loss as a predictor for the onset of dementia later in life. In this study, the researchers analyzed dental records and brain function test results over a twelve-year period for 144 participants. Among the subjects, those with fewer than nine teeth were at a greater risk of dementia as compared to those with ten or more teeth.

About Dr. Longman
Dr. Longman holds a BS in Chemistry and a sub-major in Biology. His love for science fuelled his desire to become a dentist.

To make an appointment with Dr. Longman, call 703-549-1331 today.