Stages of Gum Disease (Periodontitis)

Stages of Gum Disease (Periodontitis)

By: Hillside Dental
Posted on: November 16, 2022

Gum disease or periodontitis is a severe gum infection. Poor oral hygiene can allow bacteria to accumulate below the gumline. It causes the buildup of plaque and tartar that leads to infection.


Periodontal diseases can also be due to:


  • Hormonal changes

  • Genetics

  • Certain medical conditions

  • Medications

  • Smoking


If untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and other health issues. Here are the different stages of gum disease (periodontitis).


Stage One: Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease characterized by red and swollen gums. Other signs of the disease are occasional bad breath and bleeding when brushing or flossing. Usually, individuals with these symptoms experience no pain and hardly realize that there is an issue.

At this stage, the infection is mild and has not reached the teeth, roots, or bones, making it reversible. Improving your oral hygiene and getting a regular professional dental cleaning can help treat gingivitis.


Stage Two: Slight Periodontal Disease

By the second stage, gum disease has spread to the bones, the highly aggressive bacteria attacking the bone tissue. Symptoms of the condition are increased gum redness, swelling, and bleeding during brushing and flossing.


When gingivitis becomes periodontitis, it is not possible to cure it, but one can manage it. The dentist will diagnose the disease by probing or measuring the depth between the gums and teeth. Specialized cleaning procedures can help treat the condition.


Stage Three: Moderate Periodontal Disease


This stage is similar to stage two, but the probing depths are deeper. The deep pockets allow more bacteria to attack the teeth and jawbone. Here, bacteria can enter the bloodstream and attack the immune system.


After diagnosing the condition, the dentist will come up with a treatment plan. Root planing and scaling, or intense deep cleaning, can help remove the bacteria below the gumline.


Stage Four: Advanced Periodontal Disease


Failing to treat the earlier stages of gum disease causes advanced periodontal disease. Stage four periodontal disease can lead to irreversible bone loss. It is the final stage of the disease, and many patients experience loose teeth.

Other symptoms include severe bad breath, pus oozing from red and swollen gums, extreme sensitivity, and pain when chewing. In this stage, patients require periodontal surgery or laser therapy to treat the infected tissue.



The most effective way to prevent this disease is by ensuring daily brushing and flossing. It will help prevent bacteria buildup. It is also vital to visit the dentist regularly for dental cleaning and checkup.

If detected early, it is possible to treat gum disease effectively. However, some of the factors that can increase the development of periodontitis include:


  • Smoking

  • Poor nutrition

  • Obesity

  • Diabetes


So, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and managing diabetes can help prevent gum disease.

Routine dental examinations help detect gum disease in the early stages. Treatment for periodontal disease depends on the stage or severity and usually includes dental cleaning, scaling, and root planing. Other treatment options are flap and pocket reduction surgical procedures and soft tissue/bone grafts.


For more information on the stages of gum disease, contact Hillside Dental at our Las Vegas, Nevada office. Call (702) 666-8584 to schedule an appointment today. Existing patients can call (702) 895-7799.

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