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 one of the most common oral health issues in America. More than half of all American adults have some form of periodontal disease. Not only that, but most people with gum disease don’t even know that they have it. 

Routine dental visits are essential for identifying gum disease and getting the periodontal care you need before your condition gets worse. Before you stop by for a visit at Quintero Periodontics, let’s dive into the four stages of periodontal disease in detail so you can learn more about how to recognize gum disease and get the treatment you need.


Gingivitis is the precursor to periodontal disease. In this situation, the gums may look puffy, inflamed, and swollen. A red gum discoloration is common, and the gums may also bleed easily during brushing or flossing. 

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 gingivitis goes untreated, it will eventually progress into stage 1 and 2, which is known as “slight periodontal disease.” In these stages of gum disease, the gums begin to pull away from the teeth, creating periodontal “pockets” between the gums and teeth. 

Food, bacteria, plaque, and other debris begin to collect in these pockets. Over time, this leads to severe infection of the gums, which can damage the teeth and the surrounding bone. 

If caught early, slight periodontal disease can be treated and managed to keep your mouth healthy. It’s not reversible, but with proper treatment such as a Deep Cleaning or Scaling and Root Planing you can keep all of your teeth and keep your mouth healthy with regular periodontal care. 

Stage 3 – Moderate Periodontal Disease

If left untreated, gum disease will continue to progress. Over time, the periodontal “pockets” will get deeper, and the gums will continue to recede showing the roots. This can make the teeth look longer and cause tooth sensitivity. Stage 3 periodontal disease may start to cause pain and discomfort but also can go unnoticed by the patient.  It will continue to severely damage the gums, jaw bone, and support structures of the teeth.

In moderate periodontal disease, one or more of the teeth may loosen, and patients may also notice other symptoms like bad breath, a foul taste in the mouth, or changes 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 periodontal disease, patients may have already lost multiple teeth, and their remaining teeth may be loose and weak due to damage to the gums and jaw bone. Advanced periodontal disease will almost always result in the loss of multiple teeth and other serious health issues if not treated.

In some cases, patients with advanced periodontal disease require the 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 think you may have periodontal disease, it’s important to get help from a periodontist as soon as possible. The sooner you get gum disease treatment, the better the outcome will be. So don’t wait. Dr. David Quintero is an experienced periodontist in Dacula and is always accepting new patients.

With the help of Dr. Quintero and the team at Quintero Periodontics, you can get the care you need to protect your gums, preserve your teeth, and restore your oral health, no matter how severe your gum disease may be. Contact us online or give Quintero Periodontics a call at (770) 614-8823 to schedule a consultation right away.

Return to Blog page

Your Smile, Our Mission

Let’s Get Started

Get in Touch