This study estimated the prevalence, severity, and extent of periodontitis in the adult U.S. population, with data from the 2009 and 2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) cycle. Estimates were derived from a sample of 3,742 adults aged 30 years and older, of the civilian non-institutionalized population, having 1 or more natural teeth. Attachment loss (AL) and probing depth (PD) were measured at 6 sites per tooth on all teeth (except the third molars). Over 47% of the sample, representing 64.7 million adults, had periodontitis, distributed as 8.7%, 30.0%, and 8.5% with mild, moderate, and severe periodontitis, respectively. For adults aged 65 years and older, 64% had either moderate or severe periodontitis. Eighty-six and 40.9% had 1 or more teeth with AL ≥ 3 mm and PD ≥ 4 mm, respectively. With respect to extent of disease, 56% and 18% of the adult population had 5% or more periodontal sites with ≥ 3 mm AL and ≥ 4 mm PD, respectively. Periodontitis was highest in men, Mexican Americans, adults with less than a high school education, adults below 100% Federal Poverty Levels (FPL), and current smokers. This survey has provided direct evidence for a high burden of periodontitis in the adult U.S. population.