Vet360 Vol 4 Issue 3 June 2017 Vet360 - Page 35

DENTISTRY The root of the havoc The embedded section of the hair that lies subgingivally acts as a foreign body. Bacteria and oral debris attach to the hair and generate an inflammatory response, result- ing in pocket formation. If the client does not provide me- chanical dental home care (tooth brushing or daily wipes to control plaque), the inflammation progresses apically and diminishes the tooth’s gingival attachment. How to handle the havoc Figure 4. Hair embedded between the left and right maxillary malpo- sitioned second and third premolars in an English bulldog. Hair in the oral cavity is often recognized during a wellness exam or during the intake inspection prior to an oral as- sessment, treatment and prevention (Oral ATP) visit. Between malpositioned teeth: Teeth are normally separat- ed by sufficient gingiva, creating a self-cleaning process by which food and debris slide off the dental hard tissues into the mouth. In areas where teeth are rotated or mal- positioned, hair can become trapped between the teeth (Figure 4). Once the dog or cat is anesthetized, scale, polish and ir- rigate the teeth to remove implanted hairs. Then conduct a tooth-by-tooth examination, including probing and a full mouth intraoral radiographic examination. Though diag- nostically important, radiographs are often unable to show periodontal disease detected with the periodontal probe (Figures 5A, 5B, 6A and 6B). Figure 6A. Marked inflammation and periodontal disease affecting the right and left maxillary first and second incisors secondary to embed- ded hair. Figure 5A. A periodontal probe before insertion into the right maxil- lary first incisor pocket. Figure 5B. A 6-mm pocket caused by embedded hair. Extraction is indicated. Figure 6B. A radiograph only reveals moderate support loss of the left first and second incisors. Issue 03 | JUNE 2017 | 35