WHAT IS PERIODONTAL DISEASE?
Periodontal disease involves the health of your pet’s mouth. This includes the level of gingivitis (redness/inflammation of the gums) and the health of soft tissue and bone around the teeth (periodontitis). The 4 stages of dental disease, which will be demonstrated below, can tell you and your vet about the health of your pet’s teeth and gums.
This disease develops through a process in which softer plaque begins to collect on teeth which, over time, becomes calcified by the pet’s saliva and turns into tartar. This solid coating builds up around the teeth and under the gum line which introduces bacteria into the gums. The bacteria secrete toxic chemicals that can cause damage to the teeth and surrounding tissues.
Your pet’s body begins to fight this bacterium by sending lots of white blood cells to the area. Their gums become red, inflamed, and often painful as a result of the immune response. The white blood cells also release chemicals that can cause damage to the teeth. Therefore, dental disease can actually cause the body’s immune system to make the disease worse.