Periodontal Disease in Pets

Pet Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is directly related to the accumulation of tartar on your dog’s or cat’s teeth. As tartar is changing the environment in your pet’s mouth, these new bacteria begin affecting the periodontal ligaments. These ligaments are responsible for attaching the teeth to the bone. As bacteria gain access to these ligaments, the attachment is weakened and bone loss can occur. This creates what we refer to as “Pockets”, and causes loose teeth, bone loss, pain, and eventually teeth will decay and fall out.

Grading the severity of periodontal disease while your pet is awake is a guess, based on the amount of tartar, gingivitis and recession of the gums. Probing for pockets and taking X-rays are the only true way to grade periodontal disease, and this can only be properly done while the pet is under sedation or anesthesia.

Periodontal disease grades are as follows:

  • Grade 0 – Some plaque or tartar, no bone loss.
  • Grade I – Mild gingivitis (a red line is visible along the gums), no bone loss. At this point the changes are reversible.
  • Grade II – Moderate gingivitis, <25% bone loss, gums are swollen, and bad breath. The teeth may still be salvageable at this point. Antibiotics are generally required prior to dental cleaning.
  • Grade III – Severe gingivitis, 25-50% bone loss, gingival recession, sore mouth, and bad breath. Changes may be irreversible, and the possibility of tooth extractions are high. Antibiotics are generally required prior to dental cleaning.
  • Grade IV – Severe gingivitis, >50% bone loss, severe recession, loose teeth, and bad breath. These changes are irreversible and tooth extractions will be necessary. Long term antibiotics are necessary both prior to the dental cleaning and after the cleaning.

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Several dog-friendly parks and restaurants in the area.

  • AZ 88
  • 7353 E Scottsdale Mall
  • Scottsdale, AZ, US 85251
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  • Scottsdale, AZ, US 85250
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  • Scottsdale, AZ 85260
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  • 7700 E. Roosevelt St.
  • Scottsdale, AZ 85257

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