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Periodontitis is the inflammation and infection of the periodontal ligament which holds each of the teeth in the bone. The bacteria in the mouth grows and adheres to the tooth surface and eventually leads to inflammation, infection, progressive loss of the bone around the teeth, and tooth loss.
Grade 1 and Grade 2 periodontal disease are reversible if treated with a thorough professional cleaning. Teeth with Grade 3 periodontal disease can only be saved after a thorough cleaning and treatment and with very aggressive home care. Unfortunately, teeth with Grade 4 periodontal disease are not salvageable. They require extraction since they are a constant source of pain and infection.
The vet said my animal needs a dental cleaning. Is there anything I can do at home instead?
There are lots of products on the market for home care. Many of them are excellent products and can increase your pet's oral hygiene. However, even with regular brushing, your pet will still need professional cleanings! (Remember that humans are encouraged to brush twice a day and still have a professional cleaning twice each year!) Additionally, the use of some of these products, including tooth brushes and chews, can actually be painful to your pet if they are used in the face of infected or loose teeth. After a professional cleaning you can start a home care routine that works for you and your pet!
Why do the cleanings for my pet cost more than my own cleanings?
Two words: general anesthesia! In order to effectively evaluate all the teeth, obtain full mouth x-rays, properly clean and polish all the teeth and keep your pet safe and worry free, we need to put them under general anesthesia.