Posts Tagged ‘periodontal disease’

True or False: Only senior pets are at risk of dental disease.


A 3 year old cat or dog is still pretty young —
but they’re already at risk of periodontal disease.

Schedule time each day to brush your pet’s teeth, as part of an at-home healthy mouth plan.

You brush your teeth every night, but your pet can’t brush its own teeth — you get to do that! Yay!

Need help or inspiration? Check out these tips on brushing your pet’s teeth, to help prevent or slow down periodontal disease. 

Not sure about the state of your pet’s mouth? Contact Us to schedule an exam for your pet with Dr. Miele.

Double-click the image to enlarge.

Infographic courtesy of ASPCA Pet Health Insurance. Take a look at how their customizable plans can be made to fit your budget.


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Why should you care about the bacteria in your pet’s mouth?
We have even more answers today.
(See Part I here.)


Q: What’s the difference between gingivitis and periodontal disease?
A: Gingivitis is reversible and can be treated and prevented with thorough plaque removal and continued plaque control. Periodontal disease is more severe and is irreversible. It may require advanced therapy and thorough plaque control to prevent progression of the disease. Periodontal disease causes red, swollen, tender gums, receding gums, bleeding gums, oral pain and dysfunction and bad breath. Periodontal disease, if left untreated, may lead to tooth loss and systemic health problems affecting the heart, liver, kidneys, and lungs.

Q: Can I reduce the risk of oral disease for my pet?
A: Yes. The good news is that oral disease is primarily preventable. The Foundation for Veterinary Dentistry recommends a three-step program to help prevent oral disease. Take your pet to his or her veterinarian for a dental exam; start a home dental care routine; and take your pet to his or her veterinarian for regular checkups. Research shows that canine gingivitis can be controlled by regular tooth brushing, and that feeding a pet food with proven oral benefits is also helpful in daily plaque control and maintenance of oral health. Your pet is never too old to begin a dental care routine.

Q: Does it matter to my pet’s teeth whether he or she eats hard or soft food?
A: Studies show that hard kibbles are slightly better at keeping plaque from accumulating on the teeth. Hill’s Prescription Diet T/D for dogs and cats has been proven to help remove plaque and tartar. If you think your pet needs a special food, consult his or her veterinarian.

Q: What are the warning signs that my pet has an unhealthy mouth?
A: Some of the common signs of oral disease include bad breath, a change in eating or chewing habits, pawing at the face, lethargy, and depression. Oral disease causes pain in your pet’s mouth. If you notice any of these signs, take your pet to his or her veterinarian for a dental exam.

Do you have questions about your pet’s oral health? Contact us today.

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Why should you care about the bacteria in your pet’s mouth?
We have the answers, in this National Pet Dental Health Month special report.


Q: How do bacteria affect my pet’s mouth?
A: Bacteria play a role in the formation of plaque and tartar. When bacteria combine with saliva and food debris in the channel between the tooth and the gum, plaque forms and accumulates on the tooth. Bacteria continue to grow in the plaque and, as calcium salts are deposited, plaque becomes tartar.

Left: a tartar shell; Right: a molar once covered by the tartar shell (Photo by Jennifer Miele)

Left: a tartar shell; Right: a molar once covered by the tartar shell (Photo by Jennifer Miele)

Q: Is tartar build-up dangerous to my pet?
A: Yes. If tartar is not removed from your pet’s teeth, pockets of pus may appear along the gumline and further separate the tooth from the gum, which allows more food and bacteria to accumulate. Without proper dental treatment, gingivitis — and possibly periodontal disease — may develop.

Tooth model 2 (2)

Click to enlarge

Q: Can bacteria in my pet’s mouth cause other problems?
A: If bacteria build-up in your pet’s mouth causes periodontal disease, systemic health problems that affect the liver, kidneys, heart, and lungs may occur. Oral disease may also affect your pet’s behavior and sociability with others.

Q: How common is oral disease for pets?
A: Oral disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem for pets. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS), 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by age three. Periodontal disease is a common problem in dogs. Many factors contribute to the prevalence and severity of periodontal disease, including breed, genetics, age, diet, chewing behavior, and systemic health.

On Thursday, we will discuss the difference between gingivitis and periodontal disease. Stay tuned!

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What is the simplest thing you can do to help maintain your pet’s oral health?  The old answer used to involve feeding Milkbones to dogs, but what about our cats?  The new answer is this:  add one teaspoon of Oxyfresh Pet Oral Hygiene Solution per quart of pet’s drinking water.  Oxyfresh has no taste, odor or color to discourage your pet from drinking its water.

Oxyfresh goes to work in your pet’s mouth, cleaning food debris off teeth after a meal.  It can eliminate foul breath odors, and it reduces plaque and tartar buildup to defend against periodontal disease

     The benefits are most notable when starting with a clean mouth, as in puppies or kittens or after a professional teeth cleaning.  However, any time is a good time to take action in preventing or slowing oral disease in your pet. 

     Ask for Oxyfresh Pet Oral Hygiene Solution during your next visit to our clinic.

Buddy models for Oxyfresh

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