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Tooth and Gum Disease in Your Pet

Allerderm/Virbac Tooth and gum diseases are among the most common conditions diagnosed by veterinarians today. In fact, 85% of all animals two years of age or older suffer from periodontal disease. If your pet has ever had bad breath, remember that periodontal disease is responsible in 95% of cases.

Dogs and cats don't brush their teeth twice a day like most humans do. Therefore, food gets trapped between teeth and gums. Trapped food is an excellent source of nutrition for oral bacteria; and as these bacteria grow, they form a film called plaque. You may notice plaque as a yellow or brown film coating your pet's teeth.

Plaque leads to oral infection. Eventually, hard mineral deposits are formed on the teeth. These accumulations are called calculus. Especially noticeable on the outer surfaces of the back teeth (molars), calculus acts as a protective shield for bacteria. The bacteria flourish in your pet's mouth and create more plaque.

As infection progresses, the gums become diseased and develop gingivitis or periodontal disease. A faint to very dark line at the edge of your pet's gums, where the gums meet the teeth, is a sign of periodontal disease. The gums may even bleed when you touch them.

In a relatively short time, gingivitis-causing bacteria can destroy gum tissue and the adhesions between teeth and gums, and may lead to:

  • Oral Pain
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Bad Breath
Untreated, bacteria can then enter the tooth sockets and bloodstream to cause severe conditions such as:
  • Tooth Loss
  • Bone Infections
  • Liver Disease
  • Kidney Disease
  • Respiratory Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease


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