tartar

Periodontal Disease Takes the Stage

STAGE 1

  • Plaque (a transparent film of bacteria, cells and food particles) forms and sticks on tooth surfaces
  • Plaque build up causes bad breath and redness or inflammation of the gum line (gingivitis)

STAGE 2

  • Plaque can begin to calcify within 72 hours and form tartar (a visible shell on the outer surface of the tooth)
  • Increased inflammation of the gums becomes evident and may cause bleeding at the gum line

STAGE 3

  • Tartar stuck on the tooth surfaces is covered with newly formed plaque
  • The bacteria in plaque secretes toxins and enzymes which cause further inflammation of surrounding periodontal tissues
  • With continued gingivitis, some loss of tissue attachment begins at the gum line and leads to the beginning stages of bone loss around tooth roots
  • The mouth can be quite painful and uncomfortable when eating

STAGE 4

  • Recession of the gums due to tartar buildup
  • Gingivitis may progress to infection of the tissues and bone around the tooth roots and the tooth (or often a few teeth!) may need to be extracted
  • A change in eating habits may be noticed – either not wanting to eat at all or swallowing food without chewing

Throughout all stages of periodontal disease, bacteria can be picked up and carried by the bloodstream to the liver, kidneys and heart. Brushing your pet’s teeth daily and feeding them an appropriate dental diet can help decrease oral bacteria and stop dental disease in its tracks.

ImageBefore dental cleaning – active bacteria and tartar glows pink under special fluorescent dental light.

 

ImageBefore dental cleaning – brownish tartar is visible on tooth surfaces, redness of gum line evident.

 

ImageAfter dental cleaning – teeth glow bright white under special dental fluorescent light, no more tartar or plaque on teeth.

 

ImageAfter dental cleaning – clean teeth with small amount of gingival bleeding.

**Thank you to our wonderful mouth model, Daisy, a 4 year old Maltipoo.

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