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All Pets Dental Treats Feline Periodontal Disease

Feline Periodontal Disease in Cats

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Periodontal disease is the destruction of the tooth attachment apparatus (periodontal ligament and jaw bone), caused by toxins that are released from bacteria. It begins when bacteria form on teeth in a substance called plaque. If plaque is not removed, the plaque is calcified by the minerals in saliva to become calculus (or tartar) and it will start to move under the gum line. Once the plaque gets under the gum, it starts causing inflammation ("gingivitis"). Gingivitis is the initial, reversible form of periodontal disease. Gingivitis is painful to your pet and may lead to premature tooth loss. If this inflammation is not controlled, the bacteria within the gingiva change to a more virulent type. These more virulent species create more severe inflammation that leads to irreversible periodontitis. Periodontitis not painful to your pet, so owner and pet is not aware of the disease until it is too late.

The best way to prevent periodontal disease in your pet is through the use of appropriate procedures and/or techniques to prevent dental and oral disease. Caring for your pet's teeth and gums is vital to the health of your pet to remove the plaque and tarter that accumulates each day. The dental prophylaxis (the "Prophy"), or the professional cleaning, scaling and polishing of teeth, is recommended as the minimum baseline prevention of periodontal disease.

The stages of periodontal disease in cats:

Click Images to Enlarge

Click to enlargeStage 1:

In stage 1 periodontal disease (also called "gingivitis"), the gums are inflamed but there is no evidence of support loss. Treatment involves plaque and calculus removal plus daily plaque prevention and weekly application of OraVet plaque prevention gel.

Click to enlargeStage 2:

In stage 2 periodontal disease ("early periodontitis"), the tooth begins to lose its support. Treatment involves removal of plaque and calculus, specific periodontal therapy based on examination findings as well as daily plaque prevention and weekly application of OraVet plaque prevention gel.

Click to enlarge Stage 3:

In stage 3 moderate periodontal disease the loss of tooth support has progressed. Advanced periodontal procedures and stringent plaque prevention may result in saving a tooth.

Click to enlargeStage 4:

In stage 4 periodontal disease ("advanced") greater than half of the tooth's support is lost. Extraction is the commonly recommended treatment of choice.

Common findings in animals that have periodontal disease:

Click to enlargeFurcation Involvement:

Furcation involvement is loss of some of the bone supporting the area where the roots meet. Often advanced periodontal procedures and daily plaque control can decrease the rate of progression resulting in a saved tooth.

Click to enlargeFurcation Exposure:

Established and advanced periodontal disease can result in loss of bone support where the roots of multi-rooted teeth meet. Once Furcation exposure has occurred, tooth extraction is the treatment of choice.

Click to enlargeBuccal Defect

Occurs when there is a support defect where the upper canines lie next to the hard palate. If left untreated the defect can extend to the nose causing loss of the canine tooth (teeth).

Click to enlargeBuccal Pockets

When there are defects in the tooth attachment on the outside surface near the cheeks.

Click to enlargeGingival Recession

Gingival recession occurs secondary to periodontal disease exposing the tooth root(s). If the tooth is also mobile, extraction is the treatment of choice.

If your cat has not had a dental examination in at least a year, please give us a call today to schedule an appointment.