Keeping pets healthy, and families happy.

Dental Disease and Your Pet

Dental disease can affect dogs and cats at any stage of life. However, dental disease is most common as our pets enter middle age. Studies at the Veterinary Colleges of Ohio State and Cornell University have found that 85% of dogs and cats over 6 years of age have some form of dental disease. Dental disease can be put into three categories: gingivitis, tartar and pyorrhoea:

  • Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. You can see this easily by looking for increased redness of your pet's gums, predominantly noted at the gumline.
  • Tartar is the accumulation of mineralized plaque on the teeth, usually starting at the gumline in conjunction with gingivitis.
  • Pyorrhea is the most serious of the three conditions. It is infection ( pus )in the mouth, usually between teeth and gums.

All three of these conditions require treatment. Therapy can range from a diet change, to antibiotics, to a complete dental scaling and polishing. The appropriate type of treatment is decided upon after oral examination. Many of these conditions are actual infections and can lead to heart, lung, liver, kidney, skin and prostate infections. All of these conditions are caused by either or both of the following 2 reasons:

  • Lack of active dental care – including diet, tooth brushing etc.
  • Genetics - Like us, some animals are more prone to dental problems due to their genetics.

You veterinary team can help cure or prevent these conditions. So the next time you complain of your dog’s or cat’s breath, give your veterinary team a call and find out what you can do for your pet.