Dentistry and Diseases of the Oropharynx

Chapter 64 Dentistry and Diseases of the Oropharynx

Dental disease and diseases of the oropharynx are common in dogs and cats. These diseases can be divided into categories including oral surgical disease, periodontal disease, endodontic disease, orthodontic disease, stomatitis/gingivitis, neoplastic disease, and salivary gland disease. Neoplastic disease of the maxilla and mandible is discussed in Chapter 99.


The two major categories of oral surgical (nonneoplastic) disease are:


Proper performance of dental extractions requires a thorough knowledge of dental formulas, dental root structure, and pericoronal and periradicular anatomy.


Type of Tooth No. of Roots
In Dogs
Incisor 1
Canine 1
Maxillary (upper) cheek teeth:
1st (1st P) 1
2nd and 3rd (2nd and 3rd P) 2
4th–6th (4th P; 1st and 2nd M) 3
Mandibular (lower) cheek teeth:
1st and last (1st P; 3rd M) 1
2nd–6th (2nd–4th P; 1st and 2nd M) 2
In Cats
Incisor 1
Canine 1
Maxillary (upper) cheek teeth:
1st (2nd P) 1
3rd (4th P) 3
All others 2
Mandibular (lower) cheek teeth:
All 2

M, molar; P, premolar.


Crown: Portion of the tooth located in the oral cavity. It is covered by enamel.
Root: Portion of the tooth that lies within the alveolar bone. It is covered by cementum.
Furcation: The space between the roots of a multirooted tooth.
Periodontal ligament: Ligament that attaches the root of the tooth to the alveolar bone.
Interradicular bone: Bone located between the roots.
Buccal bone: Bone located on the buccal, or cheek, side of the tooth root.
Attached gingiva: Keratinized gingiva firmly attached to the underlying alveolar bone.
Alveolar mucosa: Mucosa that is loosely attached to the underlying bone.
Mucogingival line: Anatomic landmark that separates the attached gingiva from the alveolar mucosa.

Diseases Requiring Dental Extraction

Diagnosis and Indications for Extraction

The decision to perform dental extraction depends not only on the dental disease present but also on the client’s ability and desire to pursue alternatives to extraction, such as periodontal, endodontic, and orthodontic therapy.

Surgical Procedure

There are three basic types of extractions: simple, multirooted, and complicated surgical. An alternative to routine extraction techniques, feline crown amputation with intentional root retention can be utilized in feline teeth with advanced odontoclastic resorptive lesions following proper screening.



Equipment Applications
Portable electric dental drill with low-speed hand piece and prophy angle (Vetroson Millennium Motor Pack, Henry Schein, Inc.; Port Washington, NY) Sectioning teeth, removal of alveolar bone, polishing teeth
Mobile delivery system with high-speed handpiece, low-speed handpiece, water and air syringe (Vet-Base, Henry Schein, Inc.) Sectioning teeth, removal of alveolar bone, polishing teeth, cavity and crown preparations
Piezoelectric scaler, electric or air driven (Spartan USA, Inc.; Fenton, MO) Permits rapid, easy removal of dental calculus
Dental radiography unit (AFP Imaging, Elmsford, NY) Permits rapid, easy exposure of dental radiographs


Instrumentation* Applications
Oral Surgery
Dental elevator Tears periodontal ligament during extraction
Dental luxators Has a thinner, sharper blade than traditional elevators
Extraction forceps Completes breakdown of periodontal ligament and removal of tooth from alveolus during extraction
Root tip pick Removal of small-breed deciduous teeth or broken root tips
Bone curette Debridement of alveolus following extraction
Periosteal elevator Elevation of mucoperiosteum during oronasal fistula repair and palatal surgery
Periodontal probe/explorer Measurement of depth of periodontal pocket (probe); detection of pulpal exposures and carious lesions (explorer)
Hand scalers Subgingival scaling
Curette (Columbia #13/14) Removal of accretions on the root surface and removal of granulation tissue from the pocket wall
Prophylaxis paste Polishing teeth following scaling
Endodontic files (Hedstrom/K-Files) Debridement of necrotic pulpal tissue from canal
Root canal plugger Compression of gutta percha into the apex
Light-Speed and SimpliFil System

* Available from Henry Schein, Inc.; Port Washington, NY and from Cislak Manufacturing Inc, Niles, IL.

Available from Light Speed Endodontics, San Antonio, TX.


Material Applications
Composite resins (Prodigy, sdsKerr, Orange, CA) Aesthetic restorations following endodontic therapy or cavity preparation
Glass ionomers (Vitrebond, 3M EPSE, St. Paul, MN) Restoration of feline external root resorptive lesions
Endodontic sealers (AH Plus, Dentsply, Konstanz, Germany) Endodontic filling material
Mineral trioxide aggregate (ProRoot MTA, Dentsply Tulsa Dental, Tulsa, OK) Stimulates closure of an apex and reparative dentin formation following spulpotomies
Gutta percha (Successfil, Hygenic) Fills the pulp canal following debridement during root canal therapy

Postoperative Care and Complications

Oronasal Fistulas and Palatal Defects

Oronasal fistulas are abnormal communications between the oral and nasal cavity. Palatal defects may occur anywhere in the palate and result in a communication between the oral and nasal cavities.

Surgical Procedure

Two techniques used frequently for the repair of oronasal fistulas are the single-layer and the double-layer mucoperiosteal flap. The overlapping flap technique is used frequently for the repair of hard palatal defects.

Overlapping Flap Technique

Aug 27, 2016 | Posted by in SMALL ANIMAL | Comments Off on Dentistry and Diseases of the Oropharynx

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