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Understanding Pet Periodontal Disease: A Complete Guide

Periodontal disease is the most common dental health problem our vets discover. It’s not unusual, considering 90% of dog and cat adults already show illness symptoms by age 3. Pet oral disease can lead to pain, tooth loss, infection, and even damage to vital organs like the heart, liver, and kidneys if not addressed. Crucial information about periodontal disease will be covered in this post, including its causes, symptoms, prevention, and available treatments.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Oral health is significant to your pet’s general well-being. The following are some essential details regarding pet periodontal disease that you should know:

Causes and Signs

Plaque develops in a pet’s mouth when bacteria combine with other food particles and minerals and hardens in about three days. Calculus is difficult to eliminate from the teeth. Gum inflammation and other symptoms of the illness become visible as the immune system responds to the growing threat caused by the bacteria in the mouth.

There are some noticeable symptoms of gum disease, including:

  • Foul breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Stained teeth
  • Swelling gums
  • Sensitive gums
  • Behavioral changes
  • Facial swelling
  • Extreme drooling
  • Pawing at the mouth

Your pet may experience chronic severe pain from gum disease in its advanced stages, which they may instinctively conceal to avoid appearing weak to possible predators.


Training your pet to accept dental cleanings is the first step in preventing and treating periodontal disease. Brush your pet’s teeth daily with a soft toothbrush. Your vet might also recommend dental hygiene chews. You can repair the results of gingivitis if you do this daily and follow your veterinarian’s recommended schedule for in-office cleanings. Consult your vet and see more information on how you can help prevent dental disease.


Routine exams for pets should include a dental checkup. The vet will determine the next step in your pet’s dental treatment with the help of a thorough examination of your pet’s mouth and describing any signs or problems you have observed. For many pets, routine cleanings under general anesthesia are needed to preserve their teeth’ health and address any periodontal disease-related issues.

Pet periodontics includes both diagnosing and treating gum disease. The treatment option will depend on the severity of the condition. If infection, bone loss, or pain has damaged the teeth to the point where they can not be saved, your veterinarian will likely advise extraction.

Does it need surgery?

Your pet’s mouth can be restored to its best possible condition with the help of surgical procedures, which can also aid in healing the bone and cleaning your pet’s gums. So, how does periodontal surgery look? Your pet’s periodontal treatment will depend greatly on the stage of periodontitis they are currently experiencing. You can click here for more detailed information about pet surgery.

Gingivitis, early periodontitis, moderate periodontitis, and chronic periodontitis are the four stages of periodontal disease. Tooth loss is possible during the most severe stages.


Treatment options and their costs can differ greatly depending on your vet’s ability to offer the level of treatment your pet needs and other factors. General anesthesia is needed even for simple procedures like cleaning and polishing; for that reason, costs might go beyond what you expect. Be sure to clarify whether or not the estimated price includes the cost of anesthesia and the clinic visit beforehand.

Bottom Line

Dental care for humans and pets is equally significant, but the latter needs your help. Many pet owners think that their furry friends’ bad breath is common, but it can point to a more severe problem. Routine oral appointments and constant at-home dental care can keep your pet’s oral healthy. It’s an everyday responsibility, but it’s necessary for pets with periodontal disease or at risk for developing it.