“Prevention of periodontal disease is a very important part of providing optimum health and well-being for our patients. Untreated periodontal disease can cause pain and lead to more serious and often irreversible systemic diseases."
(AAHA Dental Care Guidelines for Dogs and Cats, 2005)
Get To Know These Terms About Pet Dental Care
Periodontal Tissue: refers to all of the areas located below the gum - for example gingiva, gingival connective tissue, alveolar bone, periodontal ligament and the cementum. (refer to the diagram on the right)
Plaque: is a film on the teeth that is made up of bacteria. 1 mg of dental plaque contains over 1 trillion bacteria.
Tartar/Calculus: is mineralized plaque deposits formed from saliva and food debris. Tartar forms up to 5 times more rapidly in dogs and cats than in people.
Gingivitis: Inflammation of the gingiva (gums) that leads to redness/irritation, bleeding of the gums and pain.
Checking Your Pet’s Teeth
Dental disease doesn’t smell pleasant! This happens because of the bacteria that live on the gums. They cause infection and subsequent decay which is painful and stinky! Bacteria that lives under the gums gets squeezed into the bloodstream and further gets transported to the heart, lungs, liver, kidney, spinal cord, and even the brain. It is very crucial to be aware of your pet’s oral health.