Periodontal Disease in Pets
Periodontal disease is one of the most common medical conditions seen in middle-aged and older pets. In fact, it is believed that over 80% of pets over the age of 3 have some form of periodontal disease. Clinical signs may include increased mouth odor, drooling, and difficulty eating hard food. On physical exam, findings may include red and inflamed, gums, increased dental tartar and diseased and/or loose teeth.
If left untreated, periodontal disease may lead to oral infection and tooth loss, as well as infection and/or dysfunction of other organs in the body, including infections of the liver, heart and kidneys. Treatment of most cases of periodontal disease involves ultrasonic tooth scaling and cleaning done under general anesthesia by the veterinarian. In moderate to severe cases tooth extraction and antibiotic therapy may be necessary. It is important for animal guardians to follow up with a proactive at home dental hygiene program, including frequent brushing of teeth in order to help prevent flare-ups of this condition in the future. Products such as C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste and PetzLife oral gel can help in this regard.