Exotis ISSN 2398-2985

Ferrets

Gingivitis

Synonym(s): Inflammation of the gingiva

Contributor(s): Cathy Johnson-Delaney, David Perpinan

Introduction

  • Cause: excessive calculus and plaque left on teeth.
  • Signs: anorexia, weight loss, erythematous/swollen gingiva, halitosis, swollen tonsils.
  • Diagnosis: oral examination.
  • Treatment: dental probing/polishing/scaling; home dental care going forwards.
  • Prognosis: good.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Excessive calculus and plaque left on tooth surfaces which extended into the gingival pockets and accumulates causing gingivitis.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Diets of natural prey prevent periodontal disease, while canned soft food may predispose to it.

Pathophysiology

  • Gingivitis left unchecked along with calculus and time contribute to periodontal disease Periodontal disease where the tissue destruction extends into the periodontal ligaments and the bone itself.
  • As this process continues, infection and inflammation can involve the tooth root and abscess Dental abscess, with permanent damage occurring to the tooth; this is a painful process.
  • As the inflammation increases, the depth of the sulcus increases leading to periodontal disease.
  • Many ferrets become anorectic due to oral pain.
  • In one study, the normal gingival sulcus depth measured <0.5 mm in 87.8 % of anesthetized ferrets being screened for dental disease:
    • Gingivitis was defined as probing depths of >0.5 mm and <2 mm, which is also evidence of periodontal disease.
    • Clinical evidence of periodontal disease was present in 65.3 % of anesthetized ferrets (gingivitis or probing depths >0.5 mm).
    • Advanced periodontal disease, ie periodontal pockets >2 mm or stage 3 furcation exposure, was not found upon clinical examination.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Eroshin V V, Reiter A M, Rosenthal K et al (2011) Oral examination results in rescued ferrets: clinical findings. J Vet Dentistry 28 (1), 8-15 VetMedResource.


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