Periodontal disease starts with bacteria, plaque, and calculus adhering to the tooth crown surface at the gum line, then moving towards the root surface.

Periodontal disease is an active disease destroying the supporting tissues of the tooth which consists of the gum tissue, periodontal ligament, alveolar bone, and cementum.

This destruction leads to tooth loss. Periodontal disease may also systemically affect animals contributing to heart disease, kidney disease, and diabetes.

The 2003 American Animal Hospital Association Compliance Study indicated that 85% of adult dogs and cats have some degree of periodontal disease.

Treating periodontal disease starts with an oral examination and dental radiographs under anesthesia to assess the extent of alveolar bone destruction.

Two-thirds of a dog or cat’s tooth is under the gum line and can only be accessed with dental radiographs. A professional teeth cleaning is performed and a treatment plan created.

Options may include closed root planning, bone augmentation with open root planning, placement of a perioceutic, gingival grafting, guided tissue regeneration, and periodontal splinting.