Dentistry and Your Pet

Did you know that more than 85% of pets over the age of 5 years have periodontal disease?

For a list of specific oral disease topics, click here to visit the American Veterinary Dental College’s website

While owners and veterinarians remain vigilant in preventing many diseases with preventative measures (i.e. vaccination for parvovirus or upper respiratory viral and bacterial infections), oral prevention has been emphasized less. Working together with animal wellness center of bonita’s veterinary team, a prevention program can be formed. Prevention programs encompass many types of therapies including diets, chews, oral rinses, brushing, professional dental prophylaxis and assessment (under general anesthesia probing, intraoral x-rays). These steps allow for a treatment plan to be created.

Stages of Periodontal Disease

(By Dale J. Kressin DVM, FAVD, Diplomat AVDC;

The age of cats and dogs does not help with evaluating the severity or stage of periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is an infectious inflammatory and typically progressive disease process. Diagnosis (staging) is based on dental radiographs and periodontal probing. There are four stages:

  • Stage 1: No bone loss on dental x-rays and normal periodontal probing.
  • Stage 2: 0-25% bone loss, Periodontal probing demonstrates furcation exposure (F-1).
  • Stage 3: 25-50% bone loss, probing demonstrated deeper furcation exposure (F-2).
  • Stage 4: 50% or more bone loss and probing demonstrated deeper furcation exposure (F-3).

Without dental radiographs, periodontal probing and charting of these findings, it is impossible to diagnose, stage and optimally treat the most common disease existing in our pets.

Below are some great reference web sites from well respected veterinary dentists. Feel free to visit these sites and educate yourself on a potentially (unintentional) neglected area of your pet’s body.

Hale Veterinary Clinic Dental and Oral Surgery for Pet’s website:
Dr. Frasier Hale, DVM, FAVD, Diplomat AVDC, is a veterinary dentist who has authored numerous articles related to veterinary dentistry. There are many great pictures of common dental diseases.

Animal Dentistry and Oral Surgery Specialists, LLC website: and
Dale Kressin, DVM, FAVD, Diplomat AVDC