Causes of pet dental problems

Causes of pet dental problems

Most of the time your pet won’t have cavities like you when you go for an annual dental exam.  Here are some of the common problems we see in your pet:

  • Broken teeth and roots
  • abcess or infected teeth
  • periodontal disease
  • misalignment of the teeth and bite
  • broken jaw
  • palate defects such as cleft palate.

By the time your pet is 3 years old, he or she will have some periodontal disease evident.  It is the most common dental condition in cats and dogs according the the American Veterinary Medical Condition.

So what is periodontal disease in pets?

It is an inflammation or infection that results in the weakening or loss of support structures of the teeth.  The calculus causes irritation and inflammation of the gums, which is knowns as gingivitis and is an early stage of periodontal disease.  Calculus is also known as tartar.  Food and bacteria accumulate along the gums and form plaque, which turns into calculus or tartar.  Over time, calculus builds under the gums and causes them to separate from the teeth.  Bacteria can grown in these spaces causing periodontal disease.

Once you have significant periodontal disease, there is bone and tissue loss, and teeth falling out.  After this there will be organ damage in the kidneys, liver and heart muscle.

There are four stages of periodontal diseases:

  • Stage 1:  gingivitis is present, but no separation from gums.
  • Stage 2:  25% of gums are separating.
  • Stage 3:  30% of separation of gums occurring.
  • Stage 4:  Advanced periodontal disease.  More than 50% separation from gums.  Gum tissue recedes and roots of the teeth are exposed.  Your pet should be showing signs of pain.  You may notice he isn’t eating well.

This pet has good looking teeth.  Brushing your pet’s teeth will help limit periodontal disease.


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