SEQUOIA VETERINARY HOSPITAL, Inc.

255 Old County Road · San Carlos, CA · 94070 · P 650.369.7326 · F 650.369.4403

Home     After Hours Emergencies     About Us     Contact Us     Forms     News & Events     Pet Care     Health Library     Tour the Hospital (360°)     Pharmacy     How are we doing?      
Addison's Disease
Allergies
Anal Glands
Arthritis
Bloat
Cancer
Diabetes Mellitus
Heart Disease
Hip Dysplasia
Hot Spots/Skin
Hyper/Hypothyroidism
IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease)
Kennel Cough
Kidney Disease
Liver Disease
Obesity
Pancreatitis
Periodontal Disease
Reverse Sneezing
Subcutaneous Fluids
Urinary Incontinence
UTI (Urinary Tract Infection)

Periodontal Disease

The following are signs of periodontal or dental disease in your pet:

  • Bad breath
  • Red swollen gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Discolored teeth
  • Fractured teeth
  • Abscess at the gums
  • Tartar
  • Facial swelling


When periodontal disease is not treated, bacteria within the gum line can spread and cause deep pockets in the gums and bone loss below the gums. Eventually, this progression can cause tooth loss and other internal medicine problems. Dental disease can be painful and cause a persistent discomfort in your pet's mouth. In addition, periodontal disease has been shown to affect the kidney, liver, and heart. It also affects the way certain metabolic diseases such as diabetes are regulated.
Because the disease is below the gum line, starting to brush your pets teeth at this time will not help improve the dental health enough at this point. A professional dental cleaning where the area both above and below the gums can be cleaned is strongly recommended. The cleaning and assessment will require general anesthesia. Prior to anesthesia, your pet will be assessed to make sure they are healthy and at a low risk for anesthesia. The evaluation may include blood work or urine analysis. Prior to the dental cleaning, a catheter will be placed in the vein so that medications and fluids can be administered. During anesthesia, your pet will be closely monitored to predict any problems that may occur.

At the time of cleaning, a thorough exam and charting, much like what your dentist performs will be done. Any questionable teeth will have x-rays taken of them to assess whether further treatment or surgery is necessary. If a tooth or tissue around it is diseased, treatment will be recommended. Ideally, if possible, a tooth should be saved. Root canal therapy is and can be done on teeth if no other significant disease is present. This is especially ideal in teeth that are used for chewing called strategic chewing teeth. To have this type of therapy done, a referral to a veterinary dentist will be necessary. There are several very talented specialists in the surrounding area. Because the assessment is done under general anesthesia, it would be ideal to decide prior to anesthesia whether a referral to a specialist is desired. If a referral is desired, please let us know and we can provide the name of a specialist. They can also perform the dental cleaning at that time. Following the cleaning, certain modifications in diet or chewing behavior may be discussed. In addition, daily tooth brushing will be recommended. Most pets can become accustomed to tooth brushing with a little bit of work. Dogs and cats do not have to suffer the pain and discomfort of untreated broken or loose teeth or infected gums. With the help of thorough examinations, x-rays, dental care, and daily brushing, your pet can keep its teeth in its mouth where they should be.