Aloha Veterinary Center encourages pet owners to establish an at-home dental care routine. We offer a variety of dental care products that are available over-the-counter and greatly reduce the risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease. Please ask any of our friendly staff for more information on our products.
All dogs and cats are at risk for developing dental problems. Dental disease is more commonly seen in smaller dog breeds where a dental vaccine may be strongly recommended by your veterinarian. Being aware of these warning signs may help your pet avoid oral health problems in the future:
Persistent bad breath
Tartar (creamy-brown, hard material) on teeth
Redness of gums
Gums that bleed easily
Loose or missing teeth
Favoring one side of the mouth when chewing
Pawing at the mouth
Loss of appetite
Facial swelling and/or sensitivity around the mouth
Difficulty eating or chewing – may drop food
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is inflammation of some or all of a tooth’s support. When compared to gingivitis (red, swollen gums), periodontitis indicates bone loss. If left untreated, periodontitis may cause loose, painful teeth as well as internal diseases.
What causes periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is caused by plaque (bacteria) build-up. The plaque becomes mineralized, producing calculus. As plaque ages and gingivitis develops, periodontitis (bone loss) occurs.
What are the signs?
Halitosis, or bad breath, is the primary sign of periodontal disease. Dog’s and cat’s breath should not have a disagreeable odor. When periodontal disease advances, inability to chew hard food as well as excessive drooling with or without blood may occur.
How is periodontal disease treated?
Treatment depends on the severity of the disease. Grade I and Grade II gingivitis can be treated by teeth cleaning, polishing, and the application of fluoride to help prevent plaque accumulation. Grade III disease will require deep scaling. Once Grade III disease occurs, surgery is necessary to treat the affected teeth. Medication may be dispensed after the teeth cleaning to treat and prevent periodontal disease progression. Daily tooth brushing is the key to help prevent plaque build-up. Special foods are also available to help control calculus.
What is the prognosis for periodontal disease?
Gingivitis is treatable and curable with daily tooth brushing. Periodontal disease is not curable once bone loss occurs, but is controllable once treated and followed up with strict home care.