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A Tour of Your Pet's Mouth

Teeth sit in pockets in the gums. The roots of the teeth are safely embedded in bone and the exposed top portions of the teeth are protected by a hard coating of enamel. The mid-portion of a tooth, that portion which occupies the pocket in the gum, is relatively unprotected and vulnerable to the many dangers lurking in the oral environment.

In a healthy mouth pockets are very shallow and relatively easy to keep clean. In the pocket region, gum tissue hugs tightly to the tooth but is not attached to it. Below the pocket area, tooth and gum are attached, but that attachment can be disrupted by bacterial invasions. Such a reduction in the extent of gum-tooth attachment can result in deeper pockets and better hiding places in which bacteria can take up residence, can cause inflamed gums, and ultimately can require the painful and expensive attention of a veterinarian. Keeping pockets clean is a most important responsibility.

Mother Nature has provided a mechanism for cleansing healthy pockets of contaminating materials coming from the oral cavity. Secretions originating at the bottom of pockets constantly flow outward, rinsing contaminants from pockets back into the oral cavity. This pocket flushing system can fail when pockets become obstructed by bacterial colonies, food particles, etc.

Bacteria can move from severely infected gums into the circulatory system and from there throughout the body.

The problems which may arise from badly infected gums can be far reaching. That is because healthy gum tissues are the only barrier between the oral cavity and the extensive network of blood vessels found in the gums. Bacteria can move from severely infected gums into the circulatory system and from there throughout the body. Such a scenario is believed to worsen many health risks and conditions.