Stages of Gum Disease (Periodontitis)

Stages of Gum Disease (Periodontitis)

Stages of Gum Disease (Periodontitis)

Stages of Gum Disease (Periodontitis)

Stages of Gum Disease (Periodontitis)

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Gum disease is a severe oral infection that occurs when bacteria accumulate in your mouth. There are several stages of gum disease, each more serious than the last. Gum disease is a common occurrence among Americans—according to studies, 47.2 percent of adults over 30 years old suffer from a form of gum disease.

Gum disease often develops when you fail to take good care of your teeth. When caught early, it is possible to stop or reverse it. But when it advances to its full potential, it causes extensive tooth loss and damage to the bone in the jaw.

Here are the major stages of gum disease and their symptoms:



Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease, and dentists can cure it completely. The term gingivitis comes from the word gingiva. Gingiva is the medical term for the upper and lower gum tissue at the base of your teeth. So, gingivitis is an infection that affects the gingiva. 

When the gum tissue is healthy, it is firm pale pink, and fits tightly around the teeth. When you have gingivitis, the gums change their appearance significantly. Here are the main symptoms of gingivitis:


  • The gums swell and become puffy

  • They turn dark or dusky red

  • They bleed easily when you brush or floss

  • You will start to notice chronic bad breath

  • The gums will begin to recede

  • They will become very tender

If you notice any of these symptoms and go to a dentist, they will clean your mouth and teeth and reverse the damage. If you fail to get dental care at this stage, it will advance to more severe periodontitis.



Periodontitis is the second stage of gum disease. Unlike gingivitis, the damage from periodontitis is not entirely reversible. When you get to this stage, you can only manage the disease. Periodontitis has three main stages that differ in the severity of the damage the bacteria causes.


  • Stage 1

In this stage of periodontitis, the gum tissue begins to recede from your teeth. Consequently, the gums form pockets between them and the teeth. Bacteria and debris from food accumulate in these pockets, also called periodontal pockets. The pockets become breeding grounds for bacteria affecting your teeth's health. You will experience bleeding when you brush or floss, but you will not feel pain. 


  • Stage 2

Stage two of periodontitis is also called the moderate stage. The bacteria accumulated in the periodontal pockets will have advanced to the ligaments holding the teeth in place. The bacteria will eat away at these tissues. The damage in this stage is permanent, and your teeth will start to become loose. You may begin to experience mild pain in your teeth or gums.


  • Stage 3

The disease will advance to the third stage when you do not get treatment at stage two. In this stage, the connective tissue between the teeth and their sockets has been deteriorating significantly.

The gum tissue, bones, and other ligaments that hold your teeth in place are gone. You will experience pain when chewing and eating, get a bad taste in your mouth, and have bad breath. In this stage, tooth loss is definite.

For more on the stages of gum disease, visit Marine Park Periodontics and Implantology at our office in Brooklyn, New York. Call (646) 863-4810 to book an appointment today.