A Study of Periodontal Disease in Domestic Canines
Sonne, Jenna A.
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Periodontal disease, which leads to tooth loss and secondary infection if untreated, affects more domestic canines than any other oral disease (Cleland, 1998; DuPont, 1998; Harvey 1998). All domestic canine patients seen at State Street Animal Hospital over a period of ten weeks were examined for signs of periodontal disease, with 88 (35%) showing symptoms of periodontal disease. Only 9 (11%) patients with advanced periodontal disease were scheduled for a professional dental cleaning under gas anesthesia as recommended. All were small breed dogs over four years of age, which supports previous studies that implicate malocclusion, breed, and age as contributing factors. Of the dogs who received dental surgery, 4 (50%) required extractions, with 3 (75%) of these requiring more than two extractions. In one case study, a total of eight teeth required extraction. Dogs of all ages, breeds, and genders are susceptible to periodontal disease. Introducing a home oral-care routine early in a dog's life based on the mechanical removal of plaque and debris from the teeth and gingival tissues is one of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent periodontal disease.