Gum Disease

Main Family Dental Care

Lynn Griebahn, DDS

General Dentistry located in Davenport, IA

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), nearly half of American adults have at least a mild form of gum disease, or periodontitis. Cosmetic and general dentist Lynn Griebahn, DDS, at Main Family Dental Care in Davenport, Iowa, excels at treating gum disease and restoring your oral health. Bleeding or tender gums can be early signs that intervention is necessary. If left untreated, gum disease can worsen and increase your risk of bone loss, tooth decay, or even tooth loss. To find out more about non-invasive gum disease treatment, call Main Family Dental Care today or book an appointment online.

Gum Disease Q & A

What is gum disease?

Gum disease refers to the infection or inflammation of the soft tissue that holds your teeth in place. It’s a progressive condition that builds up over time. If left untreated, gum disease can worsen and lead to sore, bleeding gums, chewing issues, or even tooth decay and tooth loss.

The health of your gums is doubly important since gum disease is closely linked to serious health conditions. Having gum disease can seriously increase your risk of problems, such as heart disease and stroke.

Do I have gum disease?

Your gums should be firm, pink, and healthy looking. Unfortunately, gums affected by gum disease aren’t. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Tender gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Recurring bad breath
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose or sensitive teeth
  • Gum recession

If you notice signs and symptoms of gum disease, it’s very important to see Dr. Griebahn at Main Family Dental Care and get the problem under control to avoid long-term gum issues.

What causes gum disease?

The most common cause of gum disease is poor oral hygiene. If your brushing and flossing are subpar, plaque — a sticky, colorless substance left by bacteria from the food you eat — can accumulate in and around your gum line. Plaque can harden and turn into tartar.

When tartar forms beneath your gum line, it can infect and inflame your gums, leading to soreness, tenderness, and bleeding. Over time, it can pull apart the soft tissue and loosen teeth.

Besides poor oral hygiene, there are a host of other risk factors associated with gum disease, including:

  • Smoking tobacco
  • Diabetes
  • Hormonal changes in women
  • Medications that restrict saliva flow
  • Genetics

Getting regular professional dental cleanings at Main Family Dental Care is a crucial part of monitoring the progression of gum disease and identifying potential causes.

How is gum disease treated?

The most common and least invasive method used to treat gum disease is a deep, professional cleaning. This is called scaling and root planing, or SRP, and it involves two steps.

During scaling, Dr. Griebahn uses special dental instruments to remove all the plaque and tartar above and below your gum line, cleaning all the way down to the bottom of each gum pocket. Then, during root planing, he smooths out the roots of your teeth to promote your gums reattaching to your teeth. Depending on the severity of your gum disease, SRP may take more than one visit to complete and may require a local anesthetic.

To schedule a consultation and learn more about gum disease treatment at Main Family Dental Care, call the office or book an appointment online today.