The American Veterinary Dental Society reports that 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of periodontal disease by age 3, making it by far the most common disease that affects our pets.
Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissue and bone surrounding the teeth. It starts out as plaque, which then becomes calcified by the saliva and forms a hard substance called tartar or calculus. When calculus spreads it leads to gingivitis and inflammation of the gums, causing them to be red, swollen and painful. The progression of the disease leads to gum recession, and loss of the supporting bone. If untreated, this can be a very painful condition for your pet.
Periodontal disease can result in bad breath, tooth decay, bleeding gums, and tooth loss. The bacteria that cause periodontal disease can enter the blood stream and damage the heart, liver, kidneys and lungs, leading to serious health problems.
A Comprehensive Oral Health Assessment and Treatment (COHAT) at North Penn Animal Hospital includes:
- Tooth cleaning and polishing
- Thorough examination and assessment of the oral cavity and each tooth (dogs have 42 teeth and cats have 30 teeth!)
- Measuring of periodontal pocketing
When indicated, we will perform:
- Dental radiographs (x-rays) to assess the roots of the teeth below the gumline
- Tooth extractions
- Root canal
- Restorative fillings
- Oral surgery
All COHAT’S are performed under general anesthesia with constant patient supervision, intravenous fluid support, and pain control tailored to the individual needs of your pet.