woman brushing teeth to prevent periodontal disease

The Three Phases Of Periodontal Disease Symptoms

There are many ways to improve your health nowadays. Healthy eating, regular exercise and annual physicals keep our bodies running smoothly. Prioritizing oral hygiene and making regular dental checkups is just as important as watching cholesterol levels, but preventing periodontal disease (also known as gum disease) is one of the most critical aspects of maintaining mouth health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention one out of every two Americans age 30 and over has periodontal disease. As common as it is, familiarizing yourself with periodontal disease symptoms is the first step toward prevention.

Gum disease has three main phases: gingivitis, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis. Although a dentist will be able to give you an offical diagnosis, it's important to recognize symptoms of each phase.


This first stage is the most common, but it's also reversible. The Mayo Clinic addresses the following gingivitis symptoms:

  • Red and swollen gums
  • Gums that easily bleed while brushing and flossing
  • Receding gum line
  • Bad breath


At this stage of gum disease, gingivitis has advanced to the more serious condition known as periodontitis. This results in damage to the soft tissue and loss of bone that support your teeth. According to Mayo Clinic, common symptoms include the following:

  • Swollen, bright red gums
  • Gums that are tender to the touch
  • Spaces developing between teeth causing periodontal pockets to form
  • A buildup of pus between teeth and gums
  • Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
  • Loose teeth that don't fit together when you bite

Advanced Periodontitis

Periodontal disease can be a long, tedious process, transforming a once beautiful smile into a mouth requiring surgical procedures. But it doesn't have to be that way. Knowing the periodontal disease symptoms will help you recognize when gingivitis is setting in. Consult your dentist to create an oral hygiene treatment plan that includes brushing with a toothpaste such as Colgate® TotalSF to help fight gingivitis, reduce plaque and strengthen enamel. Don't forget to schedule regular professional cleaning appointments to remove plaque, tartar and food debris and reduce gingivitis in your mouth. With a little foresight and diligence, your smile can be restored.

  • Chronic bad breath
  • Swollen and bleeding gums
  • Severe receding gums
  • Deep periodontal pockets
  • Teeth that are loose and
  • Misaligned teeth

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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