Like people, pets need regular dental care to ensure their oral health. Routine pet dental care can prevent dental problems like loose teeth, bleeding gums, and periodontal disease. Periodontal disease weakens your pet’s tooth support, putting him at risk for losing his teeth. If the disease spreads to your dog or cat’s bloodstream, it could damage his heart, liver, and kidneys.

Preventative dental care from Oak Ridge Animal Hospital in Greensboro can help prevent periodontal disease to protect your pet’s teeth and health. By learning more about this disease, you can safeguard your pet from its devastating effects.
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Cause and Effects

Periodontal disease is quite common among dogs and cats. It’s caused by plaque (bacteria) and tartar buildup on your pet’s teeth, particularly under the gum line. Left unchecked, plaque can destroy the bone structure supporting your pet’s teeth, causing them to become loose and weak. Loose teeth can be extremely painful. Your pet may stop eating due to pain and discomfort when chewing. Over time, he could become sick and weak from lack of food.

As the disease progresses, it could enter your pet’s bloodstream and cause kidney, liver, or heart failure. Through pet dental care, you can prevent periodontal disease and safeguard your pet’s health. When it comes to periodontal disease, an ounce of prevention will go a long way in preserving your pet’s health and teeth.


Bad breath is perhaps the most common sign of periodontal disease. Excess drooling, red, bleeding gums, loose teeth, and difficulty chewing are additional signs to look out for. You may notice drops of blood in your pet’s water or food bowl or on his chew toys.


Our veterinarian can diagnose periodontal disease during a pet dental exam. In order to evaluate your pet’s condition, we’ll put him under using general anesthesia. This enables our vet to thoroughly examine your pet’s teeth and gums, especially under the gum line. If needed, we’ll take x-rays of your pet’s teeth and measure his bone loss to determine how advanced the disease is.


In its early stages, periodontal disease, aka gingivitis, can be treated and cured through dental cleanings. Depending on the damage the disease has caused, we may have to extract one or two of your dog or cat’s teeth. Advanced periodontal disease may result in multiple extractions due to extensive bone loss. Once periodontal disease has been uncovered, it’s important to act quickly in scheduling a dental cleaning to help reverse its effects and preserve your pet’s teeth.