February 03, 2021 Dentistry

Pet Dental Health Month: Common Issues and Conditions

A feline dentistry patient

Pet Dental Health Month: Common Issues and Conditions

February is National Pet Dental Month. Every year, veterinarians focus on oral health during this awareness month. Oral health is an important focus because, according to the American Animal Hospital Association, by the age of three, most dogs and cats have some dental disease. The Animal Medical Center has a Dentistry Service with members certified by the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC). The AVDC recommends against anesthesia-free procedures since anesthesia allows for a complete oral and tooth examination and cleaning. But there is much more to dental disease than just tooth cleaning. I will highlight some of the more common disorders AMC’s dentists manage.

Periodontal Disease

Another name for periodontal disease is gum disease. Doggy breath is one of the main signs of periodontal disease. Bad breath in dogs and cats is not normal and suggests a tooth cleaning is in order. For serious cases of periodontal disease, our dentists can perform advanced techniques to save affected teeth. If left untreated, periodontal disease results in loose, painful teeth that require extraction.

Endodontic Disease

Inside the hard tooth is the pulp consisting of nerves and blood vessels. When a tooth fracture from something like bone chewing results in exposure of the pulp, AMC dentists can perform a variety of tooth saving procedures including root canal therapy, restoration of the tooth or placement of a metal crown.

Tooth Resorption

Twenty to sixty percent of all cats develop tooth resorption, previously known as “feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions” or FORLS. The cause of these painful dental abnormalities is unknown, but the tooth erodes and often fractures off at the gumline. The treatment is tooth extraction.

If you want to learn more about dental disease in pets, AMC’s Usdan Institute for Animal Health Education is sponsoring an upcoming presentation – “Dental Disease: Getting to the Root of the Problem” – on Wednesday, February 17th at 6 PM EST.

You can register for this virtual event on the event’s webpage.

Tags: dentistry, endodontic disease, pet dental health, pet dental health month, pet dentistry, tooth resorption,

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