Understanding The Stages Of Periodontal Disease

Usually, periodontal (gum) disease is broken into four stages, known as gingivitis, early or slight periodontal disease, moderate periodontal disease, and advanced periodontal disease. Each stage has different implications for your oral health and only one can be treated. If suspect you have gum disease, don’t hesitate to call our Red Bank dentists at (732) 530-1003 today.


In this first stage of gum disease, the buildup of plaque and tartar between your teeth is causing inflammation and infection of your gums, but it has not yet caused irreversible damage to the structures of your mouth. Common signs of gingivitis include gum swelling, discoloration, inflammation and tenderness, as well as bleeding when brushing, and occasional halitosis (bad breath). 

With timely intervention and periodontal care from the Red Bank team at Santo Dental Group, as well as good at-home oral hygiene habits, gingivitis can be reversed and eliminated. However, if you do not seek help, your condition will progress to periodontal disease.

Early or Slight Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease at this second stage is irreversible because the infection has spread to the bone. Although it can’t be eradicated, it can be controlled. Patients will experience enhanced gingivitis symptoms along with gum recession of depths between four and five millimeters.

Moderate Periodontal Disease 

Moderate periodontal disease symptoms will be similar to earlier stages with gum recession depths reaching six to seven millimeters. Because these depths are so great, bacteria is potentially reaching the bloodstream which can affect your immune system and overall health.

Advanced Periodontal Disease

This final stage of gum disease is the most severe. Because of a dramatic increase in the risk of bone loss, patients at this stage often experience shifting or loose teeth, tooth and gum sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages, pain and tenderness when chewing, severe halitosis, pus forming between your teeth and gums, and even the complete loss of one or more teeth. 

At this stage of gum disease, surgical intervention is almost always required to save your teeth and restore your oral health, and it may be better to have your teeth extracted and replaced with dental implants or dentures.

 Our Periodontal Care Options At Santo Dental Group 

At Santo Dental Group in Red Bank, we offer a wide variety of procedures that can be used to treat gingivitis and early cases of periodontitis, including:

  • Deep cleaning – During a deep cleaning, your doctor will numb your mouth and use special tools to clean plaque and tartar away from the teeth and gums. Dental tools are also used to smooth out the roots of your teeth, eliminating periodontal “pockets” where bacteria collect. Along with antibiotics, deep cleanings are often helpful at controlling minor-to-moderate cases of gum disease.
  • Curettage – Curettage is similar to a deep cleaning. A curette is used to remove some of the damaged, infected soft tissue from your periodontal lining. As your mouth heals, new, healthy tissue will grow.
  • Three month recalls/maintenance – If your gum disease is irreversible, you will need to come into our office for regular three month recalls. Dr. Santo will use these appointments to check your oral health and ensure that your gum disease has not progressed further. He will also clean between your teeth and gums to remove any plaque or tartar buildup, keeping your smile healthy.

In some cases, these treatments may not be enough to resolve your case. If you have a serious case of periodontal disease, we will refer you to a periodontal specialist so that you can explore further periodontal treatments, such as surgery.  



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