Canine Periodontal Disease Diagnosis and Therapy

by Jan Bellows, D.V.M.
Diplomate, American Veterinary Dental College

Despite a decade of heightened awareness of the importance of veterinary dental care on the part of veterinarians and pet owners alike, periodontal disease persists as the most common infection seen in veterinary practice today.

Although Pharmacia Animal Health has made great strides in the advancement of veterinary dental care, much remains to be done. The purpose of this booklet, The Smile Book III, is to serve as a review for the veterinarian and hospital staff of the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease. In addition to a review of the basic dental examination and teeth cleaning; this booklet also describes the basics of veterinary dental radiology as well as some of the more advanced methods of treating periodontal disease. The role and importance of home dental care by the pet owner is also emphasized.

As our concept of adequate veterinary dental care has developed, we have come to realize that there is more to dental care than simply removal of plaque and tartar from the tooth crown accompanied by extractions of the severely affected teeth. We now understand that the battle in dental disease is actually being fought below the gum line, and we have redirected our attention accordingly. Our focus now has become evaluating and treating the periodontal pockets with the treatment goal of preserving and reestablishing attachment, resulting in more teeth being saved. Our sincere hope is that this booklet will help make this goal a reality for many veterinary practices and the patients they serve.

Pharmacia Animal Health wishes to thank Jan Bellows, D.V.M., Diplomate, American Veterinary Dental College; Diplomate, American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, Hometown Animal Hospital, 17100 Arvida Parkway, Weston, Florida, 33326, for his assistance in producing The Smile Book III. Dr. Bellows can be reached by telephone at 954-349-5800 or via E-mail at

The author would like to thank Drs. Steve Holmstrom, Frank Verstraete and Fraser Hale for review of the text and photos.

Table of Contents
The Smile Book III
Canine Periodontal Disease - Diagnosis and Therapy
Jan Bellows, D.V.M. Diplomate, American Veterinary Dental College
Stages of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal Examination
Periodontal Therapy
Home Care

Check out the entire
Smile Book Series


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Jan Bellows, DVM
All Pets Dental Clinic
17100 Arvida Parkway
Weston, FL 33326
(954) 349-5800