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home : 3. health problems : periodontal disease

periodontal disease

perio” = around “dont” = teeth

periodontal
… the supporting structure around the teeth (gum and bone)

plaque
… sticky, film-like substance of bacteria, which is constantly forming on the teeth and gums.

calculus or tartar
… a rough, hard deposit which forms if plaque is not removed. The plaque combines with minerals in the saliva, calcifies and forms calculus

gingivitis
… bacterial infection of the gums. Also known as gum disease.

periodontal disease
… bacterial infection of the tissue around teeth. If not treated, this leads to loss of supporting bone and loss of teeth. It also allows bacteria direct access to the blood stream, which can affect the entire body and lead to organ failure. Everything with teeth can suffer from periodontal disease including humans and ferrets!

signs of periodontal disease include
… bad breath; red or swollen gums; receding gums (teeth beginning to look longer); loose, separating or protruding teeth; spaces between teeth.


1: Normal healthy teeth and gums
Light pink coloured gums
Probe cannot penetrate below gumline
No loss of gum or bone


2. Gingivitis (gum disease)
Red, swollen gums
Probe still does not penetrate below gumline, as seal is in tact
No loss of bone
Compare to healthy mouth on left side of diagram


3. Moderate periodontal disease
Gums are red, swollen, and slightly receded
Probe can now penetrate below the surface, into the periodontal pocket
Loss of bone begins
Bacteria can enter bloodstream
Compare to healthy mouth on left side of diagram


4. Advanced periodontal disease
Gums are red, swollen, and very receded
Tooth and supporting bone loss is severe, making teeth less stable
Bacteria can enter bloodstream
Compare to healthy mouth on left side of diagram



Author: Shona Whaite

Published in "Canberra Carpet Sharks" Issue 012 (July/August 2005)






 
Ferret Society of Canberra
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