Periodontal disease is the same in pets as it is in humans. It is caused by the bacteria (plaque) that sticks to the tooth surface within hours of cleaning the tooth. Plaque combines with mineral salts from saliva that then hardens within days into tartar. These deposits irritate the gums causing gingivitis and can progress to bone loss, tooth loss, and affect other vital organs. The most common symptom is bad breath, but a painful mouth, loose teeth, bleeding gums, and poor appetite can be other signs.
See the before and after dental cleaning photos below. Although these pictures might be convincing enough, it is important to know that a clean looking tooth is not enough. All of the plaque and tartar that causes gingivitis and bad breath lives below the gum line. That’s why it is imperative to clean above and below the gum line during a professional cleaning (which is why it requires anesthesia for a therapeutic cleaning).
February is National Pet Dental Health Month. And just a reminder, Pismo Beach Veterinary Clinic is offering an additional 15% off our already discounted dental cleaning packages.