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Calgary Gum Disease: Causes, Stages, and Health Impacts

Calgary Gum Disease: Causes, Stages, and Health Impacts

Unlock the secrets to a healthier smile and improved overall well-being by understanding the basics of gum disease. Our latest blog explores the stages, causes, and surprising health impacts of this common condition. Learn how to prevent and manage gum disease with essential tips and practical advice. Discover why addressing gum disease is crucial for your overall health, including its links to heart disease and other serious conditions. Don't let gum disease compromise your health—read on to protect your smile and your life. Take action now and request an appointment with Dr. Korol to ensure your gum health is in tip-top shape.

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common yet often overlooked dental issue that can have serious consequences for your overall health. Understanding its stages, causes, and broader health impacts is crucial for prevention and effective management. Here’s what you need to know about gum disease:

Stages of Gum Disease

Gum disease progresses in 2 distinct stages, each with its own symptoms and severity:

  • Gingivitis: The initial stage of gum disease is gingivitis, characterized by red, swollen gums that may bleed easily, especially during brushing or flossing. At this stage, the disease is usually reversible with proper oral hygiene and professional dental care.
  • Periodontitis: If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis. In this more severe stage, the inner layer of the gum and bone pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that can become infected. The body's immune system fights the bacteria, and the combination of bacterial toxins and the body's response can break down the bone and connective tissue holding teeth in place. This can lead to tooth loss if not properly managed.

Causes and Risk Factors

Several factors contribute to the development of gum disease:

  • Poor Oral Hygiene: Inadequate brushing and flossing habits allow plaque to accumulate, increasing the risk of gum disease.
  • Plaque Buildup: The primary cause of gum disease is plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth. If not removed through regular brushing and flossing, plaque can harden into tartar, which only a dental professional can remove.
  • Smoking and Tobacco Use: These habits significantly increase the risk of gum disease and impair the healing process.
  • Diabetes: People with diabetes are more susceptible to infections, including gum disease.
  • Hormonal Changes: Changes in hormone levels during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause can make gums more sensitive and prone to gum disease.
  • Genetics: A family history of gum disease can increase your susceptibility.

Regular dental check-ups and good oral care, including brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and using mouthwash, are essential to prevent gum disease.

Impact on Overall Health

Gum disease is not just a concern for your mouth; it can have far-reaching effects on your overall health:

  • Cardiovascular Disease: Research has shown a link between gum disease and cardiovascular problems, including heart disease and stroke. The inflammation caused by gum disease can contribute to the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries.
  • Diabetes: Gum disease can make it harder to control blood sugar levels, exacerbating diabetes.
  • Respiratory Diseases: Bacteria from the mouth can be inhaled into the lungs, potentially leading to respiratory infections and worsening existing lung conditions.
  • Pregnancy Complications: Pregnant women with gum disease may be at a higher risk of preterm birth and low birth weight.

Understanding gum disease and its implications is crucial for maintaining both oral and overall health. By recognizing the stages of gum disease, addressing the causes and risk factors, and being aware of its broader health impacts, you can take proactive steps to prevent and manage this common dental issue. Regular dental visits, good oral hygiene practices, and a healthy lifestyle are your best defenses against gum disease. Take care of your gums—they play a vital role in your overall well-being. Call or request an appointment with Dr. Korol to learn more!


Gum disease often progresses without pain, especially in the early stages. Look for symptoms such as swollen or bleeding gums, persistent bad breath, receding gums, and loose teeth. Regular dental check-ups are crucial for early detection.

While gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease, can be reversed with proper oral care and professional treatment, periodontitis is more advanced and can only be managed, not completely cured. Consistent dental care can help control the progression.

Treatments for advanced gum disease include deep cleaning (scaling and root planing), antibiotic therapy, and, in severe cases, surgical procedures like flap surgery or bone and tissue grafts.


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