What Are The 4 Stages Of Periodontal Disease? Explaining The Basics

what are the 4 stages of periodontal disease explaining the basics

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is among the most common oral health problems in America. It affects more than half of American adults, yet most people with gum disease are unaware of their condition.

Routine dental visits are crucial for detecting gum disease and receiving the necessary periodontal care before the condition worsens. Before you visit Quintero Periodontics, let’s explore the four stages of periodontal disease in detail. This will help you recognize gum disease early and seek appropriate treatment.


Gingivitis serves as the initial stage of periodontal disease. During this phase, the gums often appear swollen, inflamed, and puffy, with a common occurrence of red discoloration. Additionally, brushing or flossing may lead to easy bleeding of the gums.

However, gingivitis causes no permanent damage to the gums, teeth, or jaw bone. It’s completely reversible with proper treatment. This is why early treatment is very important for gum disease. If it’s recognized early, you can get the treatment you need before your condition becomes worse.

Stage 1 & 2 – Slight Periodontal Disease

If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to stages 1 and 2, termed “slight periodontal disease.” During these stages, the gums start to recede from the teeth, forming periodontal “pockets” between the gums and teeth.

Food particles, bacteria, plaque, and other debris accumulate in these pockets, causing a progressive infection of the gums. Over time, this can result in significant damage to both the teeth and the surrounding bone.

Early detection of mild periodontal disease allows effective treatment and management to maintain oral health. While it’s not reversible, proper treatment such as deep cleaning, scaling, and root planing can help preserve all your teeth and ensure a healthy mouth through regular periodontal care.

Stage 3 – Moderate Periodontal Disease

If you don’t treat gum disease, it gets worse. The spaces around your teeth get deeper, and your gums shrink, showing more of your tooth roots. This can cause your teeth to appear longer and become more sensitive. In stage 3, you might feel pain, but sometimes you won’t notice anything. The condition keeps hurting your gums, jawbone, and the parts that hold your teeth.

In moderate periodontal disease, teeth may start to feel loose, and patients might also notice bad breath, a strange taste in the mouth, or differences in how their teeth fit together.

Treatment for moderate periodontal disease usually involves surgery to restore your gums and save your teeth, such as LANAP, gum grafting, and bone grafting.

Stage 4 – Advanced Periodontal Disease

In stage 4 of gum disease, patients might have lost many teeth already. The ones left could be wobbly and not strong because the gums and jawbone are damaged. If advanced gum disease isn’t treated, it almost always leads to losing several teeth and other serious health problems.

In some cases, patients with advanced periodontal disease require the tooth extraction of some or all of their remaining teeth and have their teeth replaced with dentures or dental implants.

However, it is still possible to manage the effects of periodontal disease, even at this late stage. With proper treatment from a periodontist, it may still be possible to restore the gums and preserve the remaining teeth with procedures such as LANAP, gum grafting, and bone grafting.

Get Help For Gum Disease At Quintero Periodontics – The Sooner, The Better!

If you suspect you have periodontal disease, it’s crucial to seek assistance from a periodontist promptly. The earlier you receive treatment for gum disease, the more favorable the outcome. Don’t delay—Dr. David Quintero, an experienced periodontist in Dacula, is ready to help and welcomes new patients.

Dr. Quintero and the Quintero Periodontics team are here to provide the care you require to safeguard your gums, maintain your teeth, and restore your oral health, regardless of the severity of your gum disease. Reach out to us online or call Quintero Periodontics at (770) 614-8823 to arrange a consultation without delay.