Periodontitis (Gum Disease)

Submitted by Veterinary Wellness Partners on Thu, 01/08/2015 - 4:10pm

One of the top ten diseases of both dogs and cats is periodontitis.  Often referred to as Gingivitis, periodontal disease is actually a deeper issue.  With periodontal disease, not only are the gums inflammed, but the underlying structures as well.  These supporting structures include the gingiva, cementum, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone.  These structure become damage with worsening periodontal disease, which leads to pain and discomfort.  Many animals with periodontitis requie multiple tooth extractions.  

Periodontal disease is actually a result of poor oral hygeine.  Without proper brushing, a pet's teeth will begin to build up bacteria and a small amount of "biofilm."  This "biofilm" allows plaque to adhere to the tooth surface.  Once this plaque starts, a viscious cycle is started.  This cycle is as follows:  bacterial overgrowth --> biofilm -->  plaque -->tartar --->  further bacterial overgrowth -->  more plaque -->  more tartar, etc.   Eventually this cycle leads to inflammation of the gingiva and the periodontal pocket.  This