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Periodontics is the area of dentistry dealing with the tissues around the teeth including the gingiva, cementum which covers the tooth root, the alveolar bone surrounding the tooth and the periodontal ligament that holds the tooth in. Periodontal disease is a very common problem in dogs and cats that affects their teeth and gums. Over 90% of pets have this disease by the time they are four years old, but many people don’t realize it. The problem starts with a film of bacteria called plaque that builds up on the teeth. The bacteria release toxins that can damage the tissues around the teeth and cause bad breath. The disease gets worse over time and can even cause problems in other parts of the body. Signs of periodontal disease include bad breath, bleeding gums, loose teeth, and decreased energy. The good news is that this disease is preventable and treatable. Brushing your pet’s teeth every day can make a big difference in their health and happiness. After treatment, many pet owners notice that their pets seem to feel better and have more energy. Don’t feel guilty if you didn’t know about this problem before – now that you do, you can help your pet live a longer, happier life. Treatment of periodontal disease can be as simple as removal of plaque and calculus above and below the gumline or complex like guided tissue regeneration where periodontal pockets are cleaned out followed by placement of bone graft to reestablish healthy tissues.  In advanced cases, teeth must be removed.

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