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The same basics of dental care also apply to your pets' teeth.
Periodontal disease is the most common disease in dogs and cats! About 85% of dogs and cats have some form of it and are vulnerable to the pain, bad breath and tooth loss that could follow. Chronic infections can spread to the heart, liver, lungs, and kidneys, where they can do even more damage.
Periodontal disease (which includes gingivitis and periodontitis) is an inflammation and/or infection of the gums and bone around your pet's teeth. It's caused by bacteria that accumulate in the mouth, forming soft plaque that later hardens into tartar. If untreated, periodontal disease can eventually lead to tooth loss.
Chronic periodontal disease not only affects the structure and function of the teeth, but it can seriously affect overall health. Bacteria associated with severe periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream and serve as the source of infection for other organs, including the lungs, kidneys or heart.
Some of the areas that periodontal disease can damage are illustrated below:
|Lungs-->||Bacteria involved in periodontal disease can be transported to the lungs simply through aspiration.|
|Heart & Kidneys-->||Problems with the heart, kidneys, immune system and other organs may occur if the bacteria in the mouth ever enter the circulatory system, or bloodstream.|
|Liver & Intestines-->||A painful mouth can lead to lack of proper food intake and possible malnutrition.|
|Immune System-->||Improper nutrition combined with bacterial infections can reduce your pet's ability to maintain his or her natural immunity.|
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