What Are Periodontal Disease Stages in Humans? – The Ultimate Guide

Periodontal Disease Stages in Humans

There are four main stages of periodontal disease in humans. These are Stage 1 – Gingivitis – Stage 2 – Initial Periodontitis – Stage 3 – Mild Periodontitis, and stage 4 – Progressive Periodontitis.

Each stage has specific symptoms and treatments. Read on to learn about the 4 stages of periodontal disease and what to do if you suspect that you have them.


The early stages of periodontal disease have few symptoms, and most people are unaware they have it until the disease has advanced significantly. The bleeding during teeth cleaning is often mistaken for nothing, but it is a symptom of advanced periodontitis. 

The earlier stages of periodontal disease are caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth. The bacteria feed off the food particles, forming a film on the teeth. This film becomes tartar, or calculus, and is difficult to remove without professional help. Symptoms of this disease may include bleeding gums, sensitivity, and redness.

What Are Periodontal Disease Stages in Humans Overview

Stage 1: Gingivitis

In the early stages of periodontal disease, the condition is called gingivitis. It is marked by red and swollen gums and may even cause bleeding. The cause of gingivitis is the buildup of bacteria. Without proper care, gingivitis can progress to a more serious condition called periodontitis. In this case, the gums become inflamed and pull away from the teeth. 

As a result, the bacteria build up in the pockets, causing infection and the loss of bone. This inflammation in the gums is caused by a buildup of plaque, which is a substance that contains millions of bacteria. This substance accumulates on the teeth and causes gum inflammation, swollen gums, and bleeding during brushing. It can also lead to bad breath. 

Gingivitis is usually treatable with proper oral hygiene. However, it is still recommended that patients get a professional cleaning at a dentist.


Stage 2: Initial Periodontitis

In stage 2 of periodontal disease, the gums may start to recede from the teeth and form pockets. The pockets will become deeper and more infected over time.

Stage 3: Mild Periodontitis

Stage III of periodontal disease indicates significant damage to the attachment apparatus. Without appropriate advanced treatment, the disease may lead to tooth loss. This stage typically involves localised ridge defects and deep intrabony defects.

Stage 4: Progressive Periodontitis

This stage of periodontal disease is difficult to reverse. In this stage, bacteria attack the bones and can infect the bloodstream. Unlike earlier stages of periodontitis, patients with this stage can have their periodontal disease treated with root planing and scaling. However, moderate periodontal disease can result in bone loss and gum sensitivity if untreated.

Progressive Periodontitis
The bottom line

The earlier stages of periodontal disease can often be treated with proper oral hygiene and regular dental checkups. However, the disease can progress to more serious stages if left untreated. At this point, more aggressive treatment may be necessary, such as scaling and root planning. Consult your dentist if you have any queries or troubles about your oral health.

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