5 signs your pet needs dental care

A.S.A.P. & why

Periodontal disease is the most common dental condition in adult pets. 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs by age three!

**Always be careful when evaluating your pet’s mouth, because an animal in pain may bite.


Dental Health



Halitosis - AKA Bad Breath


While a certain level of odor will exist in any animal's mouth, unusually bad breath in a pet can indicate the presence of various internal problems. Some are very serious, including: esophageal or gastrointestinal illness, gastrointestinal injury, foreign bodies, or masses. The buildup of certain toxins in the bloodstream can lead to kidney disease. Halitosis is one key indicator that this may be happening, and is especially common in cats. 


Red Gums

In a healthy dog or cat, the gums will be a light pink color, similar to the color of shrimp.  It is also normal for many pets to have gums of a dark blackish color, or small dark spots on the roof of their moouth. However red gums, red spots surrounding the base of a tooth, and inflamed gums are a sign of disease in your pet. 

Healthy Cat Gums

Unhealthy Cat Gums

Healthy Dog Gums

Unhealthy Dog Gums


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Tartar Buildup



Yellow or brown build up on teeth 

Periodontal disease starts with plaque that hardens into tartar. Tartar above the gumline can often easily be seen and removed, but plaque and tartar below the gumline is damaging and sets the stage for infection and damage to the jawbone and the tissues that connect the tooth to the jaw bone. 




Just as with humans, a broken or exposed tooth can cause your pet a lot of pain.  Pets can have cavities filled, teeth crowned, or pulled if necessary.  

Broken or loose teeth


If your pet is chewing on only one side of their mouth, drops food often, and has difficulty chewing their food,they are likely in pain.  This oral pain can be a sign of further health issues. 


When some pets have dental problems or are in pain, they become irritable. So any noted changes in your pet’s behavior should prompt a visit to the veterinarian. 

Abnormal chewing, drooling or dropping food from the mouth/reduced appetite or refusal to eat.


Untreated dental problems in pets have been linked to serious medical problems, including heart, liver, and kidney disease. So if you notice bad breath or other signs of dental disease, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.​


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