Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissue surrounding the teeth that takes hold in progressive stages. If left untreated it leads to halitosis, oral infections, and bacterial infections that can enter the bloodstream and cause damage to many major organs. Although our veterinarian can detect the need for a dental cleaning upon examination of you pet, it is impossible to tell exactly what kind of dental work will be needed until your pet is anesthetized and we are able to x-ray and evaluate each individual tooth.
It starts out as a bacterial film called plaque. The bacteria attach to the teeth. When the bacteria die they can be calcified by calcium in saliva. This forms a hard, rough substance called tartar or calculus which allows more plaque to accumulate. Initially, plaque is soft and brushing or chewing hard food and toys can dislodge it.
As plaque and calculus develop below the gum line, professional cleaning will be needed to help manage it. If the plaque and tartar buildup continues unchecked, infection can form around the root of the tooth.
In the final stages of periodontal disease, the tissues surrounding the tooth are destroyed, the bony socket holding the tooth in erodes and the tooth becomes loose. This is a very painful process for your four-legged friend, but these problems can be averted before they even start.
There are two critical components of your pet's veterinary dental care: oral examinations and dental cleanings. Veterinary dental care begins as a puppy or kitten but continues throughout the life of your pet.
As part of your annual visit Dr. David Lee will conduct regular oral examinations to ensure that your pet's teeth are healthy and disease free. When your pet begins to show sings of unhealthy teeth a dental cleaning is recommended.
Oral ATP (Assesment, Treatment, Planing)
- Digital Oral X-Rays
- Scaling & Polishing
We will use similar instruments as human dentists to remove plaque and calculus from your pet's teeth. Following the dental cleaning the enamel surface is polished to remove scratches in the tooth enamel.
The application of an anti-plaque substance, such as a fluoride treatment, is also applied. This can help strengthen and desensitize teeth as well as decrease future plaque.
- Home Dental Care
As a pet owner, you play a vital role in helping ensure your pet's dental health through regular teeth brushing. You can also use drinking water additives, such as Breathalyzer Plus, which will help fight plaque.