gallipolis ohio vet clinic veterinarian clinic animal hospital

Periodontal disease is a preventable disease. We have the knowledge and the tools to prevent it, yet many of the dogs and cats presented to veterinarians do not receive adequate treatment. No longer do we recommend a wait-and-see attitude when our examination shows mild gingivitis and plaque accumulation. An active approach to preventive dentistry is vital for optimal pet health, and also goes a long way to saving your money in the future. Periodontal disease is divided into four stages.

Stage 1 is gingivitis. At this point, treatment can totally reverse the condition. However, moving into
Stage 2, reversibility becomes more difficult. This is where tooth support loss begins, and up to 25% of gum tissue support may be missing.
Stage 3 has 25 to 50% gum tissue loss and advanced disease, or
Stage 4, has teeth with over 50% gum tissue loss. Once periodontal disease has occurred, tooth support has been permanently affected and all we can do together is control the progression, not cure it.

The major culprit in periodontal disease is plaque. If it is not removed before disease progression occurs, harmful bacteria migrate underneath the gums or gingival. Anaerobic bacteria soon take hold, and further damage the gums surrounding the teeth. These bacteria migrate through the oral cavity and invade the bony structures of the mouth. There is a correlation between the severity of periodontal disease and changes in the heart muscle, kidneys and liver, showing that these pathogens can spread through the rest of the body, and affect your pet's life span. Failure to take swift early action will allow dental disease to progress unchecked and potentially lead to systemic illness.

Over 70% of pets over 2 years of age have some degree of periodontal disease. Pets are similar to people in that some pets never seem to get much disease, and yet others whose owners are diligent with preventive care still need to get regular teeth cleanings. Genetics plays a huge role in what kind of problem your pet might have.

In order to do a proper teeth cleaning procedure on your pet, we have to use general anesthesia. Unlike humans, who understand why they must sit still for all of the probing and scaling and polishing, we are dealing with pets who cannot ever understand this, and therefore we must use sedative and gas anesthesia to do a good job. Anyone who says they can scale your pet's teeth without anesthesia is not doing a proper job, and could be causing much more damage than help. To be sure your pet can handle the anesthesia well, We offer pre surgical bloodwork to rule out any liver or kidney problems that may interfere. We offer an EKG ahead of time, to rule out heart arrhythmias that could affect your pet's ability to recover well from anesthesia. Breathing,
heart rate and oxygenation are monitored constantly, and recovery is followed for several hours before we release your pet to go home. We want to make ure your pet has no problems before, during or after the dental procedure.

The procedure itself involves scaling of the teeth with an ultrasonic scaler. Hand scaling is done under the gum line. If indicated, affected teeth may be extracted, in order to remove a source of pain and infection from the mouth. Polishing paste is applied ultrasonically to seal any scratched in the enamel of the tooth. Extensive use of pain medicine is indicated whenever any tooth is extracted, for the comfort of your pet. Oravet sealent is applied to the teeth after they are dried. This increases the amount of time it takes for the tartar to return. This will help save on the number of dentals a pet will have in it's lifetime and save you money. But the cleaning alone is not the end of the procedure. The gold standard to keep these teeth in excellent shape is daily brushing with special dog toothpaste or weekly applications of Oravet at home. If you cannot do this regularly, or if your pet won't allow you to do this, there are other good alternatives to prevent plaque build-up, special treats like CET Rawhide Chews or Greenies, which also help to prevent plaque, and special diets like T/D which constantly help to keep plaque off the teeth. Without following up with one of these methods, plaque begins to build up again almost immediately.

All of us here want to keep your pet's teeth in great shape. We want them to live a long healthy life, and together, we can help prevent serious problems from starting

Sherry Queen DVM
Brian  Hendrickson DVM