My OraStrip

PDX Biotech

Client Questions

What is periodontal disease? What does it mean for my dog?

It is one of the most common diseases in dogs. Periodontal disease involves infection leading to inflammation of some or all of the tooth’s support structures (gingiva, cementum, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone).

When compared to gingivitis, periodontitis indicates bone loss. Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria. Initially a pellicle forms on the clean tooth. This pellicle attracts aerobic gram positive bacteria (mostly actinomyces and strepococci). Soon more bacteria adhere forming plaque. Within days the plaque thickens, underlying bacteria run out of oxygen and anaerobic motile rods and spirochetes begin to populate the subgingival area. Substances released by the anaerobic bacteria cause tissue destruction and bone loss.

What do the stages of periodontal disease mean?

Periodontal disease is an infectious inflammatory and typically progressive disease process. Diagnosis (staging) is based on dental radiographs and periodontal probing. There are four stages:

Normal (PD 0): Clinically normal – no gingival inflammation or periodontitis clinically evident.

Stage 1 (PD 1): Gingivitis only without attachment loss. The height and architecture of the alveolar margin are normal.

Stage 2 (PD 2): Early periodontitis – less than 25% of attachment loss or at most, there is a stage 1 furcation involvement in multirooted teeth. There are early radiologic signs of periodontitis. The loss of periodontal attachment is less than 25% as measured either by probing of the clinical attachment level, or radiographic determination of the distance of the alveolar margin from the cemento-enamel junction relative to the length of the root.

Stage 3 (PD 3): Moderate periodontitis – 25-50% of attachment loss as measured either by probing of the clinical attachment level, radiographic determination of the distance of the alveolar margin from the cemento-enamel junction relative to the length of the root, or there is a stage 2 furcation involvement in multirooted teeth.

Stage 4 (PD 4): Advanced periodontitis – more than 50% of attachment loss as measured either by probing of the clinical attachment level, or radiographic determination of the distance of the alveolar margin from the cemento-enamel junction relative to the length of the root, or there is a stage 3 furcation involvement in multirooted teeth.

Reference: Wolf HF, Rateitschak EM, Rateitschak KH et al. Color atlas of dental medicine: periodontology, 3rd ed. Stuttgart: Georg Thieme Verlag, 2005.

Without dental radiographs, periodontal probing and charting of these findings, it is impossible to diagnose, stage and optimally treat the most common disease existing in our companion animals.

How do I prevent periodontal disease?

The best prevention is to maintain good oral hygiene and to regularly brush and clean the dog’s mouth and gums, and to have the dog’s teeth cleaned by a veterinarian once a year.

Video Case Studies Contact Us