In following the discussion of last week’s post we are going to discuss some important points of pet dental disease. Nearly 85% of pets over three years of age have some form of dental disease, though most will show little sign of it. While this number is staggering, we have to think of it in relation to humans; on average, we get two dental exams and cleanings per year and brush our teeth every day. How often are we brushing our pets’ teeth? Probably not as much as you brush your own.
What are the signs of dental disease?
The most common sign pet owners notice is bad breath. Bad breath is often caused by bacteria and decaying food that stick to the tartar on teeth.
Another sign of dental disease is tartar. Tartar begins as plaque (bacterial biofilm) that coats the surface of the teeth. If plaque is not removed from the teeth, it will harden (called mineralization) and form tartar and calculus. Tartar appears as a tan or brown coating on the teeth, particularly on the molars and premolars. Tartar buildup above and below the gumline can lead to gum recession and infection resulting in tooth loss if untreated.
Other signs of dental disease could include discomfort while chewing, drooling, or reluctance to eat. Continue…