Veterinary Dentistry in Edmond, OK
Periodontal Disease Prevention & Therapy for Your Pet
Periodontal disease is a common condition that affects nearly 80% of dogs and 70% of cats that have gone without proper dental care by age three. Unlike humans, our canine and feline friends do not get cavities; however, they are extremely susceptible to plaque, tartar, and gingivitis.
Periodontal disease can cause serious issues in your pet's health, including:
- Fractured, missing, or broken teeth
- Bad breath
- A refusal to eat due to pain in the teeth and gums
Personalized Periodontal Therapy
There are four stages of periodontal disease, ranging from mild gingivitis to advanced severe periodontitis. An exam by your veterinarian will allow them to make a determination of the stage of disease and create a treatment plan to reverse the adverse effects. Routine preventive care can also slow the progression of periodontal disease.
The veterinarians and staff at Family Pet Hospital will be happy to help you find the proper preventive care routine for your furry friend!
Periodontal Disease Progression
The formation of plaque begins as soon as puppies and kittens begin to develop their adult teeth. This plaque is a soft film formed by food particles, saliva, debris, and bacteria. All of which is inevitable to your pet and is impossible to prevent. This plaque acts as a binding agent for minerals, in which tartar begins to form.
Tartar is noticeable by a hard yellow-brown substance that is attached to the teeth. This tartar causes an inflammation of the gums, which, if left untreated, will cause an infection of the gums (or gingiva) known as gingivitis. As tartar continues to form over time, the condition worsens. The gums begin to swell and turn red, and your pet's eating habits and behavior could change.
Eventually the disease will begin to decay and destroy the gums, teeth, and bones in the mouth. Bacteria will spread into the bloodstream and progress throughout the pet's entire body, causing damage to the liver, kidneys, and heart. Preventive care and routine periodontal prophylaxis and therapy can prevent the disease from progressing to serious stages and is reversible if done at early stages.
Preventive home care is the best option to slow the progression of periodontal disease. The proper diet is a great first step in home care. Feeding a dry hard kibble diet to your pet will benefit your pet's periodontal health Unlike moist canned foods, the mechanical action of chewing the kibble produces a gentle abrasive effect, providing a brushing result that reduces plaque accumulation.
Special periodontal care foods are also available at Family Pet Hospital. These contain healthy materials that block the tartar buildup, and are larger kibble pieces that require more mechanical chewing action by your pet. Dental chews are also a great preventive to add to your home care routine. Special dental chews that contain clinically proven enzymes provide a barrier against plaque while also having the benefit of the mechanical chewing action to clean your pet's teeth.
The best most effective home care is routine daily brushing. Although this seems like a difficult task, with patience and perseverance your pet will begin to enjoy this experience and look forward to the daily event! An Edmond veterinarian or technician at Family Pet Hospital can help instruct you on how to achieve success through daily brushing.
Please note that a special and inexpensive canine or feline toothpaste must be used. Do not use household human toothpaste, as this is harmful to your pet.
Prophylaxis & Therapy
Routine prophylaxis and therapy is essential to your pet’s health. Daily home care will temporarily prevent the need for extensive treatment, but almost every pet will require therapy at some stage of their life.
Your veterinarian at Family Pet Hospital is also your pet’s dentist! Periodontal therapy is an anesthetized procedure, where your pet will have pre anesthetic bloodwork done to ensure they are healthy enough to go under anesthesia. A cleaning of your pet's teeth will then be completed using an ultrasonic scaler, removing all tartar including the subgingival tartar. Dental radiographs, full mouth radiographs, tooth polishing, a detailed examination of each tooth to ensure they are intact and healthy, and any needed tooth extractions can also be performed. If excessive gingivitis is present, pre- and post-procedure antibiotics may be needed.
Periodontal therapy is an outpatient procedure, and your best friend should be back home the same day as treatment! A Family Pet Hospital veterinarian or technician will explain the procedure in more detail prior to your scheduled appointment.
Call our Edmond veterinary dentists at (405) 216-5200 to schedule your appointment today.
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