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Dental Disease

Dental disease is a silent process that may cause many other illnesses, including kidney, heart, and blood infections.

When pets don’t receive the dental care they need to keep their teeth clean and their gums healthy, their mouths can harbor bacteria. Recent research has led to information that these bacteria in the mouth can enter the bloodstream and cause serous disease.

How Does Your Pet’s Mouth Look?

Stage 1:

Here is a healthy mouth with normal bacterial flora, sound gums, and minimal plaque buildup.

Dental Stage 1

Stage 2:

You can see the inflammation caused on the gum tissue from the bacterial buildup in the beginning stages of dental disease. While the teeth still appear somewhat healthy, the health of the mouth is starting to decline.

Stage 3:

This shows an unhealthy oral cavity with unfavorable bacteria, gum and inner lip ulcerations, receding gums, root exposure, and plaque buildup. Some tooth loss is probable. This condition may be painful.

Stage 4:

This mouth is full of pus, bacteria, and disease. The teeth are falling out and the gums are severely inflamed and infected. The roots are infected and exposed. Tooth loss is eminent. This condition is probably painful.

Handout courtesy of Michelle Guercio, CVT, CVPM, Animal Care Center of Pasco County, New Port Richey, Fla.