Periodontal disease could be a factor in the unpleasant smell of a pet's mouth. This is inflammation of the support structures of the tooth as well as the formation of tartar and calculus. Tartar and calculus is plaque that has hardened on your pet's teeth. Tartar can also form at and underneath the gumline and can irritate gum tissues (gingivitis). Tartar gives plaque more surface area on which to grow and a much stickier surface to adhere. This leads to more serious conditions, such as cavities and gingivitis.
All dogs and cats can be affected by tooth and gum disease. Debilitatng illness, poor nutritional state or crowded teeth can cause periodontal diesase to progress at a rapid rate.
There are 4 stages of periodontal disease:
Stage 1 - gingivitis
Stage 2 - early periodontitis - less than 25% support loss
Stage 3 - established periodontitis - between 25 - 50% support loss
Stage 4 - advanced periodontitis - greater than 50% support loss
As soon as you notice any of the above signs or a foul odor to your pets breath please have them checked by our veterinarians at Eagle Animal Hospital. They may need antibiotics and/or a professional dental cleaning. When this disease goes untreated it will cause deterioration of the teeth, gums and bones in the jaw. This can be a very painful process for your pet. It will become harder for them to eat anything hard and they may stop eating all together, if untreated.
One of the best ways to prevent this from happening is to do some home care with your pet. Not all pets will open their mouths and allow you to brush their teeth. Therefore, it is important to begin this process when the pet is young. Brushing your pets teeth two to four times a week, using chlorhexidene (anti bacterial) coated chews or using anti bacterial additives to your pet's water and getting regular dental check ups with our veterinarians will help prevent periodontal diesase.
Please call our office for more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians to assess your pet's teeth and gums. We serve the Chester Springs, Exton, Glenmoore and Downingtown area.
-written by Amy, veterinary technician at Eagle Animal Hospital