As people, our pets can suffer from various dental diseases. In this article we will explain what factors predispose to them and what can owners do to prevent them, and thus save some problems to our animals.
One of these conditions is periodontal disease, which is one of the most common diseases in dogs and cats and appears as a consequence of the inflammatory response caused by bacterial plaque that accumulates on the teeth. The formation of dental plaque may be affected by the type of diet, as the soft diet leaves more residue on the teeth, and also by water, which depending to its level of salts and minerals can contribute more or less in their formation. Dental plaque mineralizes to form tartar. It is a progressive and painful disease if plaque accumulation is not controlled and can cause tooth loss and even affect distant organs.
Another factor favoring periodontal disease is malocclusion. Malocclusion is the abnormal positioning of the teeth and can cause pain and discomfort. It is due to an incorrect shape of the jaw, a tooth malposition, or a combination of both. This way, small or brachycephalic breeds commonly suffer from periodontal disease because they have shorter upper jaw and this makes that they have crowded, rotated and misplaced teeth, providing food impaction and subsequent plaque formation. Moreover, deciduous or milk teeth that are not changed at time make that permanent teeth are redirected to an abnormal position causing some degree of malocclusion. Furthermore, because the teeth do not fit well, injuries can occur in the gums and premature teeth contact that difficult mastication.