Dental Feature: Carbon Dioxide Laser Treatment

Picture of Dog  

Breed: Siamese mix

Condition:
Caudal stomatitis

This six-year-old female cat had been experiencing painful oropharyngeal inflammation for years. Various treatments including steroids, antimicrobials and immune modulators failed to control the issue or offer any relief, so she was referred to a dental specialist for further evaluation.

The cat was diagnosed with caudal stomatitis, caused by a hyperimmune response to plaque biofilm. First, serum profile, urinalysis and FeLV/FIV tests were performed with normal results. She was anesthetized for a tooth-by-tooth oral exam, including probing and intraoral films. The incisors and canines appeared normal, but the gingiva surrounding her cheek teeth was severely inflamed.

Upper right mandibular and maxillary cheek teeth
Severe inflammation along the upper right mandibular and maxillary cheek teeth
Upper left mandibular and maxillary cheek teeth
Severe inflammation along the upper left mandibular and maxillary cheek teeth
Low right mandibular and maxillary cheek teeth
Inflammation along the lower right mandibular and maxillary cheek teeth
Low left mandibular and maxillary cheek teeth
Inflammation along the lower left mandibular and maxillary cheek teeth

Surgery was performed to extract all the teeth caudal to the canines. Unfortunately, 10 months after surgery, areas of caudal inflammation still existed.

Moderate inflammation upper
Moderate inflammation after surgical extraction of the cheek teeth
Moderate inflamation lower
Moderate inflammation after surgical extraction of the cheek teeth

Rather than extracting all the remaining teeth, a carbon dioxide laser was used to raster the inflamed areas. The cat was placed under anesthesia, and multiple passes were made with a .25 mm tip at four watts power. A saline-soaked sponge was then applied to remove the char and more passes were made.

CO2 laser postion
CO2 laser position near the inflamed caudal maxilla
Rastered gingiva
Appearance of rastered gingiva after laser application
Rastered gingiva
Appearance of rastered gingiva after laser application

This process was repeated for three months. Monthly rastering removed the areas where daily plaque could accumulate, minimizing the chance of a hyperimmune response. The rastering was a success and the cat’s owners are now using daily preventive methods like VOHC Accepted dental treats to protect her remaining incisors and canines.

Inflammation resolved
Appearance of maxilla two years after the initial presentation, inflammation resolved

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