Oral disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem for pets
An astounding 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of oral disease by age 3, according to the American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS).
Periodontal disease is a common problem in dogs, particularly smaller breeds.
Cats can develop painful resorptive lesions. Studies show that about 28 percent of domestic cats develop at least one of these painful lesions during their lifetime.
Oral disease begins with a buildup of bacteria in the pet´s mouth
Bacteria, combined with saliva and food debris between the tooth and gum, can cause plaque formulations that accumulate on the tooth. As bacteria grow in the plaque and as calcium salts are deposited, plaque turns to tartar.
Bacterial plaque is the most important substrate in the development of periodontal disease. The inflammation and destruction that accompanies periodontal disease results from the direct action of bacteria and their by-products on periodontal tissues as well as the indirect activation of the pet’s immune response.
Without proper preventive or therapeutic care, plaque and tartar buildup leads to periodontal disease, which affects the tissues and structures supporting the teeth. Left untreated, periodontal disease can cause oral pain, dysfunction, tooth loss and systemic complications.
Tartar has a contributory role due to its roughened surface, which enhances bacterial attachment and further plaque development, and also irritates gingival tissues.
Periodontitis may lead to other health problems
Periodontal disease causes red, swollen and tender gums, receding gums, bleeding, pain and bad breath. If left untreated, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss.
The inflammation and infection associated with periodontal disease may damage other organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys, or lead to other serious health problems.