Pet Education

Browse our veterinary-reviewed Dog and Cat Illness Guide to learn more about pet health. Always talk to your veterinarian if you have a concern about your pet's symptoms or health.
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Canine Dental Disease

Dental disease is a common disease found in more than two-thirds of dogs over 3 years old.

Left untreated, bacteria build up on the teeth. This advances to gingivitis--inflammation of the gums. Gingivitis develops into periodontal disease--inflammation of the bone and ligaments that support the teeth.

As the disease progresses, your dog will have tooth loss. The bacteria also can enter the bloodstream and infect other organs.

Dental disease is treatable and can be prevented. You must provide your dog with good dental care (at home and by your veterinarian) for it to have good dental health.


Dental disease starts with a build-up of brown or tan plaque. It is crucial to provide your dog with good dental care.




Your dog will need anesthesia for cleaning procedures. Your veterinarian will perform:

You won't be able to remove the plaque and tartar yourself because:



If you take care to give your dog proper veterinary oral care and continue the care at home, they will have healthy teeth and gums, and avoid dental disease.

Medically Approved by Sara Ochoa, DVM

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