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Periodontal Disease

The aetiology of periodontal disease is multi-faceted, and it is inevitable that in this format it will be somewhat oversimplified.

The most important factor to consider in primary periodontal disease is the individual's host response. That being the individual's resistance or susceptibility to the toxins the bacteria of the dental plaque produce. Different individuals housed in the same group having the same diet will often exhibit varying degrees of periodontal involvement, which is consistent with the host response theory. 

Regular and frequent immobilisations to scale the teeth or complex periodontal surgery cannot be justified on ethical grounds in a veterinary environment, as they may put the animal at unnecessary anaesthetic risks, and the high level of postoperative care and maintenance required usually cannot be sustained. Extraction of teeth with deep pockets and mobility should be considered.

Micro-abscesses discharging through the gingiva from hair packing in the gingival pocket through the animals biting each other. (Chimpanzee)

Advanced periodontal disease with gross alveolar bone loss. (Lowland Gorilla)

Hyperplastic gingivitis that was judged to be secondary to a systemic haematological disease. Animal died two weeks after this examination. Histopathology confirmed that the animal was suffering with idiopathic neutropaenia. (Lowland Gorilla)

Peroiodontitis with gingival hyperplasia. (Lowland Gorilla)

Hyperplastic periodontal response. Retained roots were extracted and the hyperplastic gingivae resected. (Lowland Gorilla)

Two year follow up of previous case shows some gingival improvement, but the animal is still demonstrating some periodontal involvement.

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