Periodontal Disease – Prophylaxis & Therapy
Dental disease is a common condition that affects nearly 80% of dogs and 70% of cats by age three without proper dental care. Unlike humans, our canine and feline friends do not get cavities, however, they are extremely susceptible to plaque, tartar, and gingivitis. Dental disease can cause serious issues in your pet's health, including infection, fractured, missing or broken teeth, bad breath, refusal to eat due to pain in the teeth and gums just to name a few. There are four stages or 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 Dental 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 & Therapy can prevent the disease from progressing to serious stages, and is reversible if done at early stages.
Preventive home dental 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’ dental health greatly. 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 Dental Care foods are also available at Family Pet Hospital that 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 and also has the benefit of the mechanical chewing action to clean your pet's’ teeth. The best most effective home dental 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! A veterinarian or technician at Family Pet Hospital can help instruct you on how to achieve success on daily brushing!
Please note that a special inexpensive canine/feline toothpaste must be used!
Do not use household, human toothpaste, as this is harmful to your pet!
Prophylaxis & Therapy
Routine Dental Prophylaxis & Therapy is essential to your pet’s dental health. Routine Home dental care will prolong 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! Dental prophylaxis & Therapy is an anesthetized procedure, where your pet will have pre anesthetic bloodwork done to ensure they are healthy enough to go under anesthesia, then a cleaning of your pet's teeth will be completed using an ultrasonic scaler, removing all tartar including the subgingival tartar, a polishing of the teeth, a detailed examination of each tooth to ensure they are intact and healthy, and any needed tooth extractions. If excessive gingivitis is present, pre and post dental antibiotics may be needed. Periodontal Prophylaxis & 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 the scheduled Prophylaxis & Therapy.