The American Veterinary Dental College notes that Periodontal disease is the most common clinical condition occurring in adult dogs and cats, and is entirely preventable. By three years of age, most dogs and cats have some evidence of periodontal disease. Unfortunately, other than bad breath, there are few signs of the disease process evident to the owner, and professional dental cleaning and periodontal therapy often comes too late to prevent extensive disease or to save teeth. As a result, periodontal disease is usually under-treated, may cause multiple problems in the oral cavity, and may be associated with damage to internal organs in some patients as they age.

What are some of the most common signs of dental disease in dogs and cats?

• Bad Breath
• Drooling or dropping food when eating
• Loss of appetite
• Tartar on teeth
• Loose and or discolored teeth
• Missing teeth of unknown origin
• Poor grooming habits (cats)

Companion animal dentistry has come a long way in the last 5-10 years and now includes the regular use of intraoral x-rays to help us determine the condition of your pet’s teeth and their surrounding structural system. In our opinion, the highest quality dentistry simply can’t be performed without this important tool. Some of the common findings include fractured teeth, bone loss of varying degrees, tooth resorption (see the tooth resorption page), tooth root abscesses, pulp irregularities, un-erupted teeth, abnormally positioned teeth, and more.

Vertical periodontal disease (bone loss) impacting teeth #409 and #410. This area in particular can lead to a mandibular fracture if not addressed

Before a professional dental cleaning. Significant calculus (tartar) is present, along with grade 3 gingivitis and the presence of hair and debris. This patient was well past the time for preferred intervention.

Post cleaning photo illustrating significant periodontitis and gingivitis. Early intervention may have prevented what was wide spread tooth loss for this dog.



Early (and sometimes often) intervention is the key to avoiding tooth loss and the potential for health changes that extend far beyond the oral cavity.  If you would like to schedule a consult with a doctor to see if your pet would benefit from a professional dental cleaning, assessment, and possible treatments, please give us a call 503-636-5681