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What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is inflammation and infection of the tissues that surround and support the teeth. It is the #1 disease of cats and dogs. Over 80% of adult pets are affected.

Why does my pet have dental disease?

Normal daily activities like eating and grooming introduce bacteria into the mouth. Unless the teeth and gums are cleaned regularly, infections will develop. Some pets are more prone to developing dental disease due to genetics and breed.

What can I do to keep my pet from developing this disease?

A consistent home care program can slow the progression of periodontal disease. This includes frequent tooth brushing and oral rinses, tooth-friendly chew toys and special dental diets. Most pets will still require dental cleanings during their lifetime.

What is dental prophylaxis?

First, the entire oral cavity is examined, and the level of disease for each tooth is charted. Plaque and calculus are removed above and below the gum line using ultrasonic and manual scaling instruments. The teeth are polished, and a chlorhexidine rinse is applied. Diseased teeth are detected and treated at this time.

What is involved in a surgical tooth extraction?

The tooth roots are exposed by creating a flap of the overlying gum tissue. A drill removes the overlying bone and splits the tooth so each tooth root can be removed individually. The remaining socket is packed with a bone stimulant to help support the jaw. The gum tissue is then sutured close.

Why does my pet have to have general anesthetic?

One reason is to keep the pet still so that the procedure can be thorough and complete. Anesthesia will also ensure your pet does not experience any pain, anxiety or fear during the procedure. Any anesthetic concerns can be addressed before the procedure.

Why should you care for your pet’s teeth?

Everyone can understand the importance of dental care for their pets because the risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease is the same for animals as it is people. There is no reason to believe that animals do not feel the same pain of sore gums and a toothache that we feel. So, the main reason to care for your pet’s teeth is to prevent pain.

If you never brushed your teeth, your mouth would be sore, and you would have trouble eating. You might feel tired all the time because the infection in your mouth would spread throughout your body. The same thing happens in your pet’s mouth. The mouth is the door to the rest of the body. It has an excellent immune system to protect it against the constant barrage of bacteria and toxins it deals with every minute. But it needs some help. We must keep it clean of the plaque that is always forming on the teeth.

Plaque is a clear, thick substance consisting of saliva, bacteria, and food particles. In fact, plaque is 80% bacteria and forms within 6-8 hours after brushing. It sticks to the teeth and collects in the pockets around the teeth. If left uncleaned, an infection will result, which will eventually overwhelm the body’s immune system and cause gingivitis and periodontal disease. The same thing happens in our mouths, but we brush our teeth to remove it periodically.

Signs of gingivitis and periodontal disease:


Contact Us

Holden Veterinary Clinic


11 Industrial Dr Holden, MA 01520

Clinic Hours

Monday: 8 AM - 8 PM
Tuesday: 8 AM - 8 PM
Wednesday: 8 AM - 8 PM
Thursday: 8 AM - 8 PM
Friday: 8 AM - 6 PM
Sat-Sun: Closed