Taking good care of your pet's teeth is one of the most important things you can to do add years and quality of life to your pet's life. As part of our pet exam, we look for signs of dental issues and periodontal disease.
About Periodontal Disease
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is a condition in which bacteria attack the soft gum tissue. It is the most frequently diagnosed health problem for pets.
How does it form?
Bacteria, combined with saliva and food debris between the tooth and gum, can cause plaque accumulation on the tooth. As bacteria grow in the plaque and as calcium salts are deposited, the plaque turns to tartar. Without treatment, plaque and tartar buildup leads to periodontal disease.
Is it harmful to my pet?
Yes! The natural buildup of tartar leads to gingivitis, a painful gum infection. Diseased gums and teeth can lead to other diseases such as endocarditis (heart valve infection) and pyelonephritis (kidney infection).
Pet Dental Health Facts
- Oral disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem in pets.
- An astounding 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by age three.
- Symptoms of gum disease in pets include yellow and brown build-up of tartar along the gum line, inflamed gums, and persistent bad breath.
- Periodontal disease is a common problem in dogs, particularly smaller breeds whose teeth are sometimes forced closer together because they are too large for their mouths.
- Oral tooth resorptive lesions are painful lesions that occur along the gum line of the tooth, and are the most common tooth disease in cats. Learn more about tooth resorption in cats.
Taking Care of Your Pet's Teeth
What does a dental cleaning involve?
- Scale tartar from above and below the gum line, using both hand instruments and ultrasonic scaling equipment.
- Polish the surfaces, smoothing them down and making them more resistant to plaque formation.
- Often administer antibiotics because tooth and gum diseases are already present in most pets.
- Perform dental radiography, which is critical for the accurate evaluation of periodontal disease because 60% of the disease is hidden below the gum line. Our state-of-the-art digital radiology system allows us to view images immediately, with no chemicals, no wasted developing time and fewer re-takes.
All anesthetic procedures at CPAH are closely monitored by our highly trained nursing staff to ensure your pet’s safety and comfort before, during, and after the dental procedure.
Look for products with the Veterinary Oral Health Council “Seal of Acceptance”
Products are awarded the VOHC Seal of Acceptance following review of data from trials conducted according to VOHC protocols. The VOHC Seal is displayed on products that have been awarded the Seal. Regular use of products carrying the VOHC Seal will reduce the severity of periodontal disease in pets.