As we have discussed in previous blogs, your pets dental health is very important! Periodontal disease is often seen by our veterinarians, and can be found in most dogs and cats. This disease can lead to pain, infection, tooth loss and damage to other organs.
Dental health for our pet patients is very important to us at Bregman Veterinary Group, so we would like to place the focus of this blog on periodontal disease and further educate you on the stages of periodontal disease that can occur in pets.
Periodontal disease can be broken down into four stages, they are as follows:
The early stage is characterized by gingivitis. This is an inflammation of the pet’s gums as it responds to the existence of bacteria and tartar. You might notice some minor swelling of the gum area. You may also notice a visible thin red line on the gums next to the teeth at this stage as well.
A.K.A. periodontitis. At this stage there is a small amount of bone loss, < 25% , visible on oral x-rays. Inflammation of your pet’s gums may occur along with visible plaque and tartar and bad breath. At this stage, your pet should get a professional cleaning to thoroughly remove the plaque and tartar, and to help reverse the progress of the disease.
At this stage serious damage starts. This stage is also known as moderate periodontitis. During x-rays 25-50% of bone loss can be found. Gums are swollen and aggravated and may even bleed. Significant pain may be present along with bad breath. It is recommended the infected/damaged teeth now be removed.
In the 4th and final stage, extreme periodontal disease is obvious. Bone loss is now >50%, visible in x-rays. Your pet could lose numerous teeth along with being in extreme pain. Infection could spread to internal organs as well now.
Preventing and Treating Pet Dental Disease
Periodontal disease can be treated, which is why you should always have an annual exam for your pet. This allows your veterinarian the ability to take the necessary steps for your pets oral care. These regular checkups, dental cleanings and daily brushing done by you go a long way towards a healthy mouth and life!
As always, your Bregman Veterinary Group is here for you and your pet! Don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule your pet’s next visit. Happy Brushing!