top of page

stages of periodontal disease

Healthy gums, Cleaned teeth
Periodontal Disease, buildup plaque and calculus on teeth, spaces between teeth, reddened swollen gums

Gums that are healthy normally have a “coral pink” and firm appearance, without the presence of bleeding or inflammation. The color will vary from person to person depending on the amount of pigment containing cells. The gums, or gingiva, surround your teeth tightly in a collar-like fashion forming symmetrical triangles in between our teeth. To maintain healthy gums, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, use an antibacterial mouthwash, eat a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals, and avoid smoking and tobacco products. You should also get regular dental checkups and professional cleanings, limit sugary and acidic foods and drinks, chew sugar-free gum after meals, and drink plenty of water. If you notice any symptoms of gum disease, such as swollen or bleeding gums, bad breath, or loose teeth, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.


When bacteria attach to teeth and form plaque, inflammation develops. Toxins in plaque irritate the gums, causing a chronic inflammatory response that breaks down and destroys bone and soft tissue. This inflammatory response toward bacteria can be classified into the four stages of Periodontal disease, which are:

  • Gingivitis: This is the only stage of the disease that is reversible as it hasn’t attacked the bone yet. Gingivitis is a result of plaque buildup around the teeth, and bleeding gums is one of the first symptoms you may experience. However, most symptoms of gingivitis are painless, which is what makes periodontal disease so common. Good oral hygiene and regular dental exams and routine dental cleanings can help treat and reverse gingivitis successfully.

  • Mild periodontal disease: This is the second stage of gum disease. It isn’t reversible, but can be managed. Once you reach stage two, the infection has spread to the bone and has begun to destroy the bone. The bacteria have become more aggressive, which is what leads to bone loss. Scaling and root planning (SRP) can be used to deep clean the teeth and gums. It removes deposits of bacteria that are deeply rooted in your gums.

  • Moderate periodontal disease: This is the third stage of periodontal disease and has more probing depths, which allows for even more bacteria to attack the bones and the bloodstream. Much like slight periodontal disease, our professional specialist will use scaling and root planning to thoroughly clean the area.

  • Advanced/severe periodontal disease: This is the final stage of periodontal disease when the infection has evolved into disease-causing bacteria. It can cause redness, swollen gums that ooze pus, sensitivity, loosening of teeth, painful chewing, severe bad breath, and bone loss. This stage requires periodontal surgery to clean the deep bacteria-filled pockets. If left untreated, stage four can lead to tooth loss, gaps between your teeth, the need for dentures, gum recession, and other serious health problems

stages of periodontal disease

The 2017 World Workshop on the Classification of Periodontal and Peri-Implant Diseases and Conditions resulted in a new classification of periodontitis characterized by a multidimensional staging and grading system. The link below provides an overview.


bottom of page