Most dental disease occurs below the gum line, where it’s hard to see. What types of dental disease can your pet have? Some of the more commonly encountered problems include:
• Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
• Broken teeth and roots
• Abscesses or infected teeth
• Periodontal disease
• Cysts or tumors in the mouth
Periodontal disease is the most common dental condition in dogs and cats. By the time your pet is 3 years old, he or she will very likely already have early evidence of periodontal disease. Early detection and treatment are critical, because advanced periodontal disease can cause severe problems and pain for your pet. Periodontal disease doesn’t
just impact your pet’s mouth; other health problems associated with periodontal disease include kidney, liver and heart muscle changes.
Periodontal disease starts with plaque that hardens into tartar. Tartar above the gum line can often easily be seen and removed, but the plaque and tartar below the gum line are damaging and set the stage for infection and damage to the jawbone and tissues that connect the tooth to the jaw bone.
A regular dental exam and routine cleaning is a great way to prevent many of these conditions.