What are the Stages of Periodontal Disease?

Team Periodontics

Periodontal disease is not something to ignore. This infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place commonly impacts individuals in their 30s and older. And, since it stems from the build-up and hardening of plaque on the teeth, poor hygiene habits are mostly to blame. But, with the right dental care, there are steps that can be taken to minimize the damage.

It is not something that happens overnight but rather continues to progress if left untreated. Periodontal disease stages range from mild to advanced.

Stages of Periodontal Disease

There are four main stages of periodontal disease, starting with some mild inflammation and gradually reaching an advanced state of deterioration. Let’s take a closer look. 


The first stage of periodontal disease is gingivitis, which is the inflammation of the gums. During this time you may also notice that there is plaque building up on your teeth, made up of bacteria and debris from food and other particles. Gingivitis is relatively painless which makes it so dangerous. 

This first stage is crucial because it is the only stage of periodontal disease that can be completely reversed. Bleeding gums are the first sign – and you won’t want to ignore them. 

Early/Slight Periodontal Disease

Once periodontal disease has moved into this early stage, the gums begin to get more inflamed and start pulling away from the teeth. The result is what is referred to as periodontal pockets. These areas are perfect for catching bacteria and food debris, leading to infection. 

The immune system begins to respond as the bone surrounding the area begins to feel the damage. 

Bleeding during brushing and flossing are common during this time. Bone loss may occur, too.

Moderate Periodontal Disease

Moving forward, inflammation begins to spread even more. Discomfort increases and gums recede even further. As the bone is damaged and lost, the support of your teeth will be lacking and causing them to loosen.

You may feel the inflammatory response through your entire body thanks to the infection. 

Advanced Periodontal Disease

The final stage of periodontal disease refers to the deterioration of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. Everything is destroyed – your gums, bones, connective tissues. Pain is often reported, as well as bad breath. 

Loss of teeth is the most common sign in this stage. 

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

As you can see, periodontal disease can wreak havoc on your mouth if it is not caught early. Knowing the signs and symptoms of this dental disease can signal you to seek help before it is too late. 

While symptoms always vary from person to person, here are the most common symptoms of periodontal disease: 

  • Bleeding gums, especially when brushing or flossing
  • Red, swollen or sore gums
  • Receding gums
  • Unexplained inflammatory response throughout the body
  • Plaque/tartar buildup on your teeth
  • Loose teeth (or moving teeth)
  • Bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
  • Pain when chewing
  • Sores in the mouth
  • Change in bite
  • Tooth loss

Seek Treatment at Perio Implant Specialists of NJ

Good oral hygiene is the foundation of a healthy mouth. And it greatly reduces the risk for periodontal disease, too. At Perio Implant Specialists of NJ, our highly skilled team will examine your teeth, give you a deep cleaning, address any issues, and urge you to step up your oral hygiene at home with our Periodontal Maintenance Program

If you have been experiencing any of the above symptoms or feel that you may have periodontal disease, don’t wait. Contact our office today at 973-729-9392 to schedule an appointment.