Plaque Related Disease in the Dog


Bite Sized Quiz

This is a photograph of the right maxillary canine tooth of an eight year old male Labrador dog.

Plaque Related Disease in Dogs


Examination of this dog's mouth under anaesthetic demonstrated severe gingivitis, areas of gingival recession, mucositis and localised attachment loss and furcation exposure affecting a number of teeth.
  1. What is this condition called?
  2. What causes it?
  3. How should it be treated?





  1. This dog has periodontitis
  2. Periodontitis is generally a plaque related disease. It is inflammation of the periodontium (gingiva, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone) causing loss of attachment of these tissues to the affected teeth. This can present as gingival recession or the development of periodontal pockets. This dog also has mucositis. This is inflammation of the oral mucosa which often affects the tissue overlying the teeth, especially the canine teeth. Sometimes this clinical picture is described as Chronic Ulcerative Paradontal Stomatitis (CUPS).
  3. Treatment involves :
  • Detailed examination, charting and x-rays of all teeth. 
  • Thorough supra and sub-gingival scaling and polishing of all of the teeth
  • Elimination of periodontal pockets. This may involve tooth extraction. 
  • Elimination of areas that are plaque retentive and difficult to keep clean. This usually involves tooth extraction.
  • Diligent home care including daily brushing with a Chlorhexedine containing toothpaste, twice daily flushing with a Chlohexedine containing flushing solution,
  • Use of plaque controlling diets and chewsOngoing monitoring including both conscious check ups and at least six monthly check ups under anaesthetic

Dog after treatment for periodontitis

This photograph shows the same dog one month after the initial examination. The owners were able to clean their dog's teeth effectively and there is a dramatic reduction in gingival inflammation and healing of the mucositis

Plaque Related Disease in the Dog










Both Andrew Perry and Peter Southerden are happy to discuss or give advice on all matters relating to small animal veterinary dentistry or oral surgery. Please phone 01793 528341 or email Eastcott Referrals

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