Periodontal (Gum) Disease – Symptoms, Causes and Treatments2021-05-05T13:30:24+00:00

We Treat More than Just Gum Disease

Periodontics 101

ASK YOURSELF: Do I have diabetes, heart disease, lung problems or other chronic illnesses? Do other members of my family have any of these conditions? Am I pregnant or am I considering becoming pregnant? Do I have missing teeth, bad breath, mouth pain or sores? Do I have spaces between my teeth, gums that bleed, or uneven or receding gums? Do I have dental implants, loose dentures, or extensive dental work in my mouth?

If you have any of the symptoms or conditions listed above, you should take out self assessment test.

Make an appointment with Dr. Newhouse today!

Special Training. Special Certification.

To become a periodontist, a dentist must receive three years of additional specialized training in an accredited periodontal residency program. And, in the State of Missouri, the specialist must also be certified by the American Board of Periodontology and, in the State of Kansas, must pass a special licensing examination.

We’re the Foundation of Your Overall Health.

Our mission for promoting good health extends beyond the mouth. That’s because periodontal diseases can adversely affect overall health and life expectancy.

In fact, there is a strong link between periodontal diseases and stroke and other heart diseases, diabetes, pregnancy complications, respiratory problems, pancreatic cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, and more. These are all good reasons to keep your gums and your teeth healthy! Afterall, the quality of your life might depend on it.

What Is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?

Gum disease (periodontal disease) is the most common chronic bacterial infection in the US population. More than 50% of Americans over 30 years of age have destructive gum disease. And it may come as a surprise that more people lose teeth to periodontal disease than to decay. Because it is typically “silent” (like high blood pressure can be) and does not hurt, people who have it are often unaware of their condition.

Gum disease begins when bacteria (germs) attach to the teeth. Without daily removal of the bacteria, the gums get red, swollen and bleed. It affects the support structures of the teeth (gums and bone) and without treatment can lead to tooth loss. Its earliest form — gingivitis — is reversible, but only with professional therapy and good home care.

When the infection advances to periodontitis, “pockets” (spaces between the gums and teeth) form. Bacteria continue to migrate into these pockets and lead the infection into the bone support of the teeth. If left untreated, gum and bone tissue are destroyed, teeth become loose and are subsequently lost. Despite this potentially scary-sounding scenario, the great news is that gum disease fortunately is treatable and preventable!

Mouth Body Connection.

Although many people think that the mouth is divorced from the rest of the body and it doesn’t matter to their overall well-being, the health of the mouth does influence general health. Did you know when you take your dog to a veterinarian for a problem, the first thing the vet examines is their mouth? To learn more about the mouth-body connections, please click on these topics:

Heart Disease / Stroke2021-01-26T01:18:54+00:00

Heart Disease

Research suggest that people with gum (periodontal) disease are nearly 2X as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease as those who are periodontally healthy.

It is believed that bacteria from the mouth can affect the heart when they enter the blood stream, attach to fatty plaques in the coronary (heart) arteries and eventually contribute to clot formation. Researchers believe that the arterial plaques associated with gum disease increases systematic inflammation and may contribute to swelling of the arteries.

Periodontal disease can also make existing heart conditions worse. Individuals at risk for infective endocarditis may require antibiotics prior to dental procedures. Your cardiologist can help determine if your heart condition requires use of antibiotics prior to dental procedures.


Research indicates a relationship between periodontal (gum) disease and stroke. In one study, people diagnosed with a shortage of oxygen (ischemia) to the brain were more likely to have an oral infection when compared to those that were orally healthy. The control of periodontal disease is an important factor in controlling and/or preventing stroke and heart disease.


If you are diabetic, you are at greater risk to have periodontal disease (gum disease) than people without diabetes. In fact, periodontal disease is often considered a major complication of diabetes. Individuals with uncontrolled diabetes are especially at risk for periodontal loss of support.

Not only does diabetes put an individual at greater risk to develop periodontal disease, but periodontal disease can negatively influence a diabetic’s ability to control their blood sugar.

Diabetics have an increased risk of diabetic complications when they have high blood sugar. Treatment of periodontal disease has been shown to result in better diabetic control which in turn decreases the number of ER visits and the associated risks of blindness, heart issues, and circulatory problems.

Respiratory Disease2021-01-26T01:20:20+00:00

Researchers know that bacteria that grow in the oral cavity, especially in people with gum (periodontal) disease, can be inhaled into the lungs and cause respiratory infections like pneumonia as well as worsen allergies and breathing problems like asthma or emphysema.

Decreases of oral bacterial concentrations with appropriate professional tooth cleanings, mouth rinses, good home care, resulting in good periodontal health can reduce complications to chronic breathing disorders.

Pregnancy Concerns2021-01-26T01:20:49+00:00

Pregnancy causes the gums to have an increased sensitivity to bacteria resulting in swelling and bleeding. Your grandmother might have told you that she lost her teeth during pregnancy. There are also now real concerns about having gum (periodontal) disease and risks to the newborn.

We’ve known for a long time that smoking and alcohol and drug use contribute to women having babies born early at a low birth weight. Now, evidence suggests a periodontal disease is a risk factor to premature delivery. Pregnant women who have gum (periodontal) disease may be 7X more likely to have a baby that is born too early or too small.

Gum disease seems to trigger increased levels of fluids that induce labor. Studies suggest that women whose periodontal disease is not treated and it worsens during pregnancy have a higher risk of having a premature baby.

All pregnant women, as well as women of childbearing age, are encouraged to contact our office so that we help you have the healthiest baby possible! We also want to prevent unnecessary tooth loss in a pregnant woman by treating the “pregnancy gingivitis” and establish a healthy mouth. This is Win-Win for both the Moms and their babies.


Stress can cause changes in how responsive our immune system reacts to challenges. Stress has been associated with the onset of cancers, high blood pressure (hypertension), and other health concerns. Stress is also a risk factor for periodontal disease because of the changes in a person’s immune response.


There are many drugs which can affect the mouth in a detrimental way. For example, oral contraceptives, anti-seizure drugs, and some categories of heart drugs can result in gums that are swollen and overgrown. Other medications (over 500!) may cause dry mouth (xerostomia) which can increase the risk for tooth decay.

Healthy Foundations to Looking and Feeling Great!

Your smile is one of the first things people notice when they meet you. Having a great smile boosts your self-confidence and improves your overall well-being. That’s why we provide services that will have you looking and feeling great. A healthy smile and mouth can change your life!

Don’t let issues with your smile get in the way of showing yours off! Here at Newhouse Perio our regenerative, restorative, and cosmetic solutions will get you smiling, feeling, and functioning again with confidence. Expand the topics below to see some of the solutions to get that healthy, great looking smile.

Regeneration/Reconstruction of Hard and Soft Tissues2021-01-26T01:28:41+00:00

Root ExposureJawbone volume can be lost due to periodontal disease, tooth loss, pressure from dentures or partial dentures, trauma, injury, or atrophy. This results in unsightly deformities or indentations in the bone which can produce an unattractive restoration, a cleansibility problem, or an inability to place dental implants. Hard and soft tissue reconstruction — to build back lost structure — is an effective procedure to either prevent volume loss or remedy it, thus improving appearance, allowing dental implant placement or both.

Replace Missing Teeth2021-01-26T01:29:34+00:00

If you are missing a single tooth, a crown restored dental implant is the most natural looking way to replace it. It functions like a natural tooth and unlike a bridge, it doesn’t involve neighboring teeth. An implant preserves the bone, so naturally looking jaw contours are maintained. What’s more, a single-restored dental implant is much easier to clean and does not catch food like a bridge. And it doesn’t get cavities!