Bad breath or halitosis is often the result of excessive bacterial growth in your pet’s mouth, lungs, stomach or intestines. The most common cause of bad breath in dogs and cats is gum (periodontal) disease, but other serious diseases can also be the culprits. The American College of Veterinary Dentists (ACVD) states that by three years of age, most dogs and cats have some evidence of periodontal disease. Gradual build-up of plaque and tartar lead to gum disease, which can then lead to infection and subsequent serious health problems.
Plaque sticks to the surface of teeth and then minerals in the saliva harden it into dental calculus (tartar), which is firmly attached to the teeth. When there is a substantial accumulation of plaque and calculus under the gum line, the tissues that support teeth are damaged and this can lead to teeth loss.
Periodontal disease can be prevented with regular brushing. In addition to cleaning your pet’s teeth, feeding dry dog food, rawhide bones, and dental sticks, can aid in the prevention of gun disease.
Signs Of Oral And Dental Diseases In Dogs And Cats:
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth or teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
- Your pet shies away from you when you touch the mouth area
- Drooling or dropping food from the mouth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Loss of appetite or loss of weight
Pets who have persistent bad breath may be suffering from other disease such as diabetes, kidney failure and liver disease. Sweet or fruity breath along with increased thirst and urination can indicate diabetes in dogs and cats. Pets who suffer liver disease may show bad breath, vomit, lack of appetite, and yellowish colored eyes or gums. Since bad breath is usually an indicative of disease, you should bring your pet to the vet if you notice any strange odor in his/her mouth.