What is Dental Disease?
Imagine what would happen if you stopped brushing your own teeth; even if you ate hard food as dogs and cats do? As a result of the convenient commercial diets and table scraps; greater than 80% of dogs and cats have periodontal disease by 5 years of age. In fact, periodontal disease is the number one disease of pets 3 years of age and older.
Periodontal disease occurs when plaque, a sticky substance consisting of food and bacteria, hardens and turns to tartar. Tartar, a sort of bacterial concrete, then inflames gums leading to gingivitis and gum recession. Tartar also builds up underneath the gum line leading to infection and loosening of the tooth root. When gingivitis and periodontal disease become severe enough, animals begin to lose teeth. In addition to tooth loss, gingivitis and periodontal disease are very painful conditions for our pets. The health implications don’t stop there. A diseased mouth also affects the kidneys, liver and heart. Inflamed gums bleed easily and anytime the gums bleed bacteria from the mouth can gain easy access to the bloodstream showering the kidney, liver and heart valves with bacteria. The constant low grade infection in these organs can lead to organ failure and death. Studies have shown that animals with gingivitis and periodontal disease live an average of 2-3 years less than pets with healthy mouths. [Read more…]