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Stage 4 periodontal disease in dogs


Stage 4 periodontal disease in dogs

This article is about the pathology of periodontal disease in the dog. It has been suggested that periodontal disease in dogs is a major problem, but there is little information avlable about it. The most common form of periodontal disease in humans is gingivitis, where the gums appear red and swollen, have an unpleasant smell, and become covered with a sticky plaque. If not treated, this can lead to periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can be categorized into 3 stages.

General background

The dog is one of the only canid species where the dentition does not erupt and develop from the dental lamina. Instead, the teeth are constantly being remodeled, forming new enamel and dentine, to grow and to replace worn out material. This leads to continuous changes in the structure and function of the dentition. The canine tooth has been called a "continuous growth model" because it continues to change size throughout the dog's life. During the first two years of the dog's life, there is a very large increase in the size of the tooth, until it reaches its adult size after two years. It has been reported that the canine tooth can change in size by as much as 40% during this first two year period.

Canine teeth are not shed by the dog, and the number of teeth is not fixed, meaning that teeth may be lost as a result of tooth wear, trauma, or periodontal disease. Some studies have reported that the most common number of teeth in a dog is 21, but this has been contested and different studies have reported a range of 20 to 28.

Canine dentition

Canine dentition is relatively simple compared to other species. It is composed of four incisors, two canines, and a single premolar and molar in each quadrant of the mouth. The first four premolars (M1, M2, P1, P2) have a complex arrangement in the mandible (lower jaw) and the premolars can be distinguished from each other by their different sizes, shapes, and eruption patterns. P1, P2 and M1 are known as ‘milk teeth’, M2 is known as the ‘puppy tooth’ and are smaller than the other teeth in the dog. There is also a single molar in the back of the mouth in each quadrant, these teeth are known as the ‘posterior mandibular teeth’. The first molar erupts at about six months of age and is permanent, while the second molar does not erupt until around two years of age. This can cause problems with chewing and food retention in the canine teeth when they grow too large. In addition to the permanent canine teeth, there are also deciduous teeth. These are shed and do not erupt into the mouth until the first molar erupts, the deciduous canines have sharp edges and are usually shed during the first year of life.

The upper and lower jaws of the dog have an overall shape similar to those of humans and other animals, but canines in dogs do not grow forward. Instead they grow around the gum line and move backwards. This is called ‘canine tipping’ and can result in problems in chewing and food retention. The size and shape of the teeth varies between breeds and individuals.

Pathogenesis of periodontal disease

The development of gingival inflammation (gingivitis) and periodontal disease (periodontitis) is a two-step process. The first step is the development of a plaque biofilm that covers the exposed root surfaces and irritates the gingival tissue. The second step is the destruction of the soft tissue and attachment apparatus, which leads to tooth loss.

There is a very strong relationship between the pathogenesis of gingivitis and periodontitis, and between their severity and progression. This relationship is reflected in the fact that the progression of periodontal disease is usually a consequence of gingivitis.

Gingival inflammation

Periodontal diseases are initiated when plaque (a sticky biofilm) forms on the exposed surfaces of teeth in the mouth. Plaque is the mn cause of periodontal disease. It is composed of bacteria, epithelial cells, desquamated epithelial cells and food particles that stick to the biofilm and become covered with plaque. When the dog is sleeping, resting, eating, drinking or grooming, plaque can build up on the surfaces of the gums.

A thin, mucous-like plaque is composed of bacteria and dead epithelial cells, and is called a gingival sulcus fluid (GSF). GSF accumulates when the teeth are brushed. It also collects between the teeth and in the interdental spaces, and is the primary medium through which plaque is transmitted between teeth. As the dog chews, food particles adhere to the GSF and the bacteria in the GSF is transferred to the plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a soft, easily removable film of bacteria and debris, which builds up on the teeth. The bacteria in the plaque secrete substances that cause the tissue to become inflamed and ulcerated.

When plaque has been allowed to build up on the teeth for an extended period of time, there is an increase in the size of the sulci (periodontal pockets) between the teeth. The sulci become deeper as the biofilm increases in size and they become covered with loose, loose-fitting connective tissue (fibrous tissue). Plaque is more likely to accumulate in these deeper pockets because the loose, loose-fitting connective tissue makes it easier for the bacteria to be transferred to them. These pockets increase in size and depth as the dog ages, and as the teeth are moved around in the mouth as a result of biting.

The most important bacterial species in the pathogenesis of gingivitis are Porphyromonas spp. (formerly known as Bacteroides spp.), Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, and Fusobacter


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