When good teeth go bad

 
By Connie Orcutt • Published: March 1st, 2013
Category: Animal Airwaves
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You keep your puppy washed and brushed … but don’t forget your fuzzy friend’s pearly whites. If those chompers have lost some of their shine, periodontal disease may be to blame. After all, it is the single most common disease of adult dogs and cats.

Periodontal disease starts when oral bacteria form plaque that creeps under the gum line. The result is gum inflammation and destruction of soft tissue and bone supporting the teeth. Teeth can break down and bones become infected. Bacteria can even enter the bloodstream and spread elsewhere.

If your dog or cat is three years old, periodontal disease may have already started. Your veterinarian can perform an exam, scale and polish your pet’s teeth and use dental x-rays to look for hidden problems. Getting to the root of the problem will take the bite out of dental disease.