How to spot dental disease in your dog or cat

Did you know that over 80% of dogs and 70% of cats over the age of three will develop gum disease? It can be extremely painful for your fur baby but is treatable in the early stages.

May 31, 2022

Periodontal disease (also known as gum disease) is a bacterial infection that makes the gums inflamed and, eventually, destroys the bone surrounding and supporting the teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss or the need for teeth to be removed. Periodontal disease is also associated with serious health problems.  

Signs your cat/dog may have dental disease

  • They have stopped eating or are pawing their mouth
  • Red, swollen, or bleeding gums and discolouration along the gum line
  • Bumps or sores around the mouth and jaw
  • Broken, loose or disintegrating teeth
  • Blood on their toys
  • A runny nose
  • Don’t like their mouth being touched

If you notice any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your vet.

Preventing dental disease

  • Take your cat or dog for regular teeth cleaning at your local vet. Your vet will also check for any dental problems.
  • If your pet refuses to let you brush their teeth, dental wipes can be a handy alternative. They aren’t as effective, but they are better than nothing.  
  • Use a pet-friendly toothpaste and toothbrush and start brushing their teeth regularly. Start slowly and build up to every couple of day.  
  • Your pet’s diet can help their dental health. A high-quality diet or dental food can help clean your pet’s teeth as they eat.
  • Dental chews and toys are also available for both cats and dogs and can help to reduce the risk of gum disease.
  • Make sure their water bowl is always full. Every time your pet drinks, it washes away bits of food and debris that can attract bacteria.