13 Fogg Farm Road
White River Junction VT 05001
Located 1 Mile South of King Arthur Flour on Route 5
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is common in pets usually after the age of 4. It develops quickly, often in 2 days after brushing. It is initiated when plaque and tartar build up on the tooth surface. Plaque is a substance composed of shedded epithelial cells, a compound called mucin and gram positive cocci, a class of bacteria. The build up of plaque causes irritation of the gingival tissue, the gums, as well as changing the pH of the mouth making it an environment for bacteria to thrive. This bacteria is the real problem because it can eat away at the tooth support structure causing decay to the tooth structure. As the bacteria count increases it can expand in the subgingival layer, the surface of the tooth below the gum line, eating away at the root structure of the tooth. As the root structure decays the tooth dies causing your pet pain.
When periodontal disease is allowed to progress extractions become necessary. Teeth are extracted by your veterinarian during a professional dentistry in which your pet requires general anesthesia.
As seen below, there is a common grading system utlilized by your veterinarian for the severity of periodontal disease. Support is defined as the stability of the tooth. As the gingival tissue surrounding the teeth dies, the tooth looses it's support and stability.
Call us soon to schedule an appointment to evaluate your pet's teeth!
Information obtained from "Periodontal Disease in Pets" by Jan Bellows DVM, All Pets Dental Clinic www.vin.com