Bad Teeth and Gums are “The Root of All Evil”

September 26, 2019

Did you know that those red gums are actually the sign of an infection called gingivitis? Without appropriate treatment, this infection can progress to periodontal disease and tooth loss. We are passionate about promoting good dental care to treat and prevent these diseases.

Studies confirm that the pathogenic bacteria associated with gingivitis and periodontal disease can easily access the blood stream through the vast blood supply in the mouth, leading to life-threatening infections in your pet’s heart, lungs and kidneys.

Gingivitis and its relative periodontal disease are the most common medical disorders of dogs and cats. Small breeds, long-nosed dog breeds, and purebred cats are especially susceptible. Without appropriate treatment, the infection will progress, resulting in, tooth loss, pain, and discomfort for your pet.

Our dental team will work with you to design the proper program of care for your pet—both treatment in our hospital and a regimen of preventative care at home. Shannon, our lead technician, and all our doctors have trained extensively in advanced dental techniques. We offer top-quality products and treatments for your pet.

Your pet will first undergo a thorough examination of all teeth and soft tissues in the mouth. Our treatment of oral diseases begins with rigorous cleaning with an ultrasonic scaler. Once periodontal disease has established itself, cleaning the visible tooth surface does nothing to stop the progression of the disease. Our dental cleaning removes calculus and pathogenic bacteria from below the gum line to stop the spread of the disease and, in many cases, preserve already effected teeth. Teeth are polished and a sealant is applied to help prevent attachment of plaque to the tooth surface. Finally, a therapy laser treatment is applied to the gums to help reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation; this treatment also brings a greater supply of blood to the gums to speed healing.

During your pet’s dental procedure, x-rays will be taken of all missing, damaged, or infected teeth. We use digital dental x-rays to get a clear picture of your pet’s mouth. These dental radiographs allow us to accurately assess the extent of periodontal disease—without them, extraction decisions would be merely guesswork! We often discover dangerous abscesses in normal-appearing teeth. We also find diseased teeth that are still able to be saved, avoiding the cost of additional extractions. Dental x-rays are also a powerful tool for the prevention of oral diseases. We can identify abnormal dentition, retained roots, and persistent baby teeth before a problem emerges.

Extraction or advanced periodontal treatment to preserve teeth are frequently necessary. As always, we practice proactive pain management. We use nerve blocks, laser treatments, and medications for several days prior to and for several.

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