More than 85% of dogs and cats older than four years have periodontal disease. Periodontal disease starts with the formation of plaque, a transparent, adhesive fluid composed of bacteria. Plaque starts forming within eight hours after a thorough dental cleaning. When plaque is not removed, mineral salts, in the saliva, precipitate forming hard calculus. Calculus is irritating to gingival tissue. By-products of the bacteria "eat away" the tooth's support structures eventually causing pain and periodontal disease.
Signs your Pet is Suffering from Dental Disease...
■ Bad breath
■ Red gums (healthy gums are a pink, shrimp-like color)
■ Pus oozing from gums
■ Facial swelling
■ Yellow or brownish buildup on the teeth
Another clue that your pet may be in pain is if it goes to the food bowl and backs away as if scared or drops food from its mouth.