The number one health problem diagnosed in pets today is oral disease. To prevent it, it is important to provide our pets with the right diet and good dental care both professionally and through home care.
Plaque is the result of decomposed food particles, saliva and bacteria. It is built-up along the gum line. Plaque finds its way to the nooks and crannies between the front and back of your pet’s teeth. Plaque can be removed by mechanical means chewing, scaling or brushing. If the plaque is not removed, it will calcify into tartar (calculus) build up within 48 hours. The calculus that you can see on the teeth allows further plaque build up to occur. Calculus can only be removed by your veterinarian. So your best bet is to remove plaque before it becomes calculus.
The most common cause of bad breath is tartar buildup. This is the result from the combination of built-up plaque and minerals in your pet’s saliva. Tartar is irritating to the gums and causes an inflammation called gingivitis. This is the reddening of the gums adjacent to the teeth which cause bad breath.
When tartar is not removed, it starts to build up underneath the gums. The gum separates from the teeth and more bacteria will grow. “Pockets” will start to form. At this point the damage is irreversible. This damage is called “periodontal” disease. This can lead to loose teeth, bone loss or infection and will be very painful to your pet. This can be slowed or stopped if treated by your veterinarian with special instruments and procedures. If untreated bacterial growth will increase and enter the bloodstream, which can cause infection of the heart valves (endocarditic), liver, and kidneys.