Stages of Periodontal Disease in Pets

Dr. Joe Alcorn, M.S., D.V.M.

Dr. Joe Alcorn is founder of Care Animal Hospital in Temecula, California. He has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and his advice has been featured in large publications like Bustle and Martha Stewart.

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Periodontal disease in pets is characterized by pain, bacteria, and infection.

Grade 1 – RED GUMS: Low-grade pain…like a constant headache. This is gingivitis. Red gum line, even though teeth appear clean. Have a bad breath.

Grade 2 – RED AND SWOLLEN GUMS: Pain is chronic. Inflammation and swelling of the gums. Bacteria enter the bloodstream and infect the heart, liver, and kidneys. Plaque and tartar are present.

Grade 3 – PUS UNDER GUMS. GUM LOSS & INFLAMED PERIODONTAL TISSUE. Pain is constant. Bone loss with inflammation of periodontal tissue, and loss of gum attachment. Plaque and tartar are present.

Grade 4 – BONE LOSS WITH EXPOSED ROOTS AND MOBILE TEETH: Pain is severe. Untreated, gingivitis may progress to infect the surrounding tissue with tooth loss, mobile teeth, and bone loss.