Periodontal disease is a process that causes the degeneration of structures that cradle the teeth in their normal position. Bacteria collects along the gum lines and eventually destroys this first line of defense for the teeth. When the bacteria gain access to the vulnerable periodontal tissues and structures, it damages the tooth. This process will loosen the teeth and eventually, they will fall out.

A symptom of periodontal disease is a buildup of brownish-black material called tartar (a concentration of mineralized bacteria) on the teeth, and/or the gums may bleed.

Treatment involves removing tartar and polishing the teeth. In some circumstances, surgical trimming of excess gum tissue may be required to eliminate the pockets at the gum line, which collect bacteria. A general anesthetic is necessary for these procedures and laboratory tests may be required to determine you pet’s ability to undergo anesthesia.

Anesthesia free teeth cleaning is a cosmetic procedure only and is not recommended. It does not allow a complete oral exam, therefore, oral disease can be missed and oral problems can persist.