Attached gingiva - Tightly adhered gingiva that rests against the tooth. This is the tooth’s first line of defense to prevent bacteria from entering below the gum line.
Periodontal Ligament - A band of fibrous connective tissue that connects the tooth to the alveolar bone.
Alveolar Bone - Bone that surrounds the tooth root.
Cementum - Hard bony substance that covers the root of the tooth.
Yes it can be. Since they are not able to tell us when they are uncomfortable or in pain it can make it very challenging to know for sure. In our experience 1 in 20 dogs or cats may actually show outward signs of tooth pain. The rest are very stoic and will hide the signs of being in pain.
Signs of mouth pain can include:
No. Periodontal disease is an on-going battle. Plaque builds up on our pet’s teeth just as quickly as it does on ours. If we did not brush and floss our teeth we would developed periodontal disease faster as well. Genetics do play a role in periodontal disease so some pets may have fewer issues than others. It is just as important to brush your pet’s teeth as it is to brush your teeth. Having your pet’s teeth cleaned once under anesthesia will not “cure” their periodontal disease but it is an important part of maintaining a healthy mouth. It is important to brush your pet’s teeth daily (or at minimum every other day). We will help you come up with a homecare regimen that fits your schedule and your pet’s needs.
Laser treatment of periodontal pockets may be an option for your pet! Using laser therapy for periodontal pockets increases circulation and promotes healing, all while cleaning and debriding the periodontal pocket(s).
The mechanical motion of brushing your pet’s teeth is the best way to decrease the amount of plaque/bacteria. If this is not an option for you we can discuss other possible alternatives that may be better suited for you and your pet.
We do not want brushing your pet’s teeth to be a negative experience for you or your pet. If your pet is aggressive we do not you to be put in a position where you may get bit. Your safety is very important to us!
Please feel free to check the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC.org) for veterinary approved products.
Yes, sometimes teeth can be saved. Unfortunately we will not be able to answer this question until we have taken intraoral radiographs and measured the pocket depth with a periodontal probe. This will require your pet to be under anesthesia. There are many factors that go into how to treat a tooth. Each tooth’s periodontal disease may progress differently so multiple treatment options may be recommended if more than one tooth is unhealthy.
On the day of your pet’s procedure we will take intraoral radiographs and complete a thorough oral evaluation. Once we have completed these steps we may call you if our treatment recommendations differ from those discussed during your pet’s consultation.
Advanced periodontal treatment may require follow up procedures. Annual dental cleanings and a strict homecare regiment will help ensure long term success for your pets’ teeth. We will need to take this into consideration too. Our goal is to eliminate any source of infection or pain and a surgical extraction may be the only way to achieve this goal.
We will not recommend attempting to save a tooth if we feel like the prognosis is poor.
There are three things that can help ensure a good prognosis: