Periodontal disease in dogs and cats is bad, but it doesn’t always mean they have to lose teeth because of it. If caught soon enough, there is a chance that a milder form of treatment could reverse the damage from the disease and protect the tooth.
Just like in people, gums of pets need to be attached to their teeth. During full-mouth charting our dental technician places a probe in the space between the gum and the tooth (the gingival sulcus). Normal probing depth of the gingival sulcus is 3mm in dogs and 1mm in cats. When bacteria infect the tissue in the gingival sulcus the gums can start to detach from the tooth and a periodontal pocket is formed. Left unchecked, a periodontal pocket will continue to grow and further detach the gum from the tooth putting the heath of the tooth, and ultimately the pet, in jeopardy.
Periodontal pockets measuring 4-5mm can be cleaned and treated with Clindoral. Clindoral is an antibiotic gel used to treat mild periodontal disease. The tooth is cleaned of all bacteria, tartar and plaque and polished to inhibit further bacterial growth. Clindoral is then placed in the pocket with the goal to treat the infection and thus prevent the progression of periodontal disease. Ideally, the gum will heal and reattach itself to the tooth.
Periodontal pockets greater then 5mm can not be treated with Clindoral which is why it is so important to get your pet’s teeth checked yearly. Deep pockets generally lead to extraction or referral for periodontal surgery.
Make sure that you are giving your pet the pet best chance at a healthy mouth by making a yearly dental evaluation appointment.
Posted Friday, February 13, 2015