Periodontics

Periodontal disease: This is a disease of tooth attachment loss that typically begins with feed stasis (feed packing around the tooth). It is so common that studies have found it in 65% of horses under five-years-old and 60% of horses over fifteen-years-old.

There are four progressive stages of periodontal disease in the horse:

The gingiva appears reddened and the sulcus (normal space surrounding the tooth between the gingiva) is a normal depth but may bleed when probed.

Stage one changes with more degradation and a larger space between the tooth and surrounding gingival tissue. These changes lead to a larger loss of attachment and more feed packing around the tooth. There may be slight tooth mobility. Recommendations for treatment will be prescribed on a case by case scenario.

Stage two changes with more severe inflammation, redness, attachment loss and mobility of the tooth. Here we will see up to 50 percent attachment loss.

The gingival disease is now wide spread including gingival recession, ulceration, edema, and bleeding. Discharge, sever redness, and decay may be present. Tooth mobility will be significant and Radiographs will be necessary to determine loss of alveolar bone and possible changes in the roots or surrounding teeth. At this stage, the loss of attachment will be greater than 50 percent.

If periodontal disease is diagnosed, future treatment options will be discussed. Please keep in mind, a future appointment may be required for the appropriate treatment.

If periodontal disease is diagnosed, future treatment options will be discussed. Please keep in mind, a future appointment may be required for the appropriate treatment.

Periodontal disease treatment options may include:

Help clear the pocket of any feed packing and or debris.

A liquid supplement added to your horse’s daily routine to aid in periodontal / gingival health.

Help assess severity of periodontal disease and provide best options available at this stage.

Chalk-like material helpful in preventing feed from packing between the teeth to aid in gingival healing.