petMD.com Lists the 5 Most Common Oral Health Issues in Pets


Miami, Fla. – September 18, 2012 –Many pet owners are unaware of the importance proper dental care plays in the overall health of both cats and dogs. A shocking 55% of respondents to a recent petMD poll said that their pet has never had a professional dental cleaning. To help raise awareness of the various health complications that can occur in pets that do not receive proper dental care, petMD.com has pulled together the following list of common oral health issues affecting cats and dogs.

  1. Plaque and Tartar: Plaque and tartar buildup can occur in any animal that does not receive proper dental care. The perfect breeding ground for bacteria, plaque and tartar are the culprits responsible for gingivitis and gum disease, as well as contributing factors to bad breath, tooth loss and even heart disease in dogs and cats.
  2. Gum Disease: Periodontal disease is one of the most common diseases in dogs today and affects the gum and bone structures that support pets’ teeth. Beginning with inflamed gums, continued poor oral hygiene will eventually result in tooth loss. Periodontal disease can also be very painful and make it difficult for pets to eat, causing even more health concerns.
  3. Toothache: Toothaches are a common oral health issue that is easily preventable, yet many pets suffer from them when they go without dental cleanings. The pain from toothaches can become so severe that pets are unable to eat. If the pain is persistent, it can cause unwanted weight loss in dogs and cats.
  4. Halitosis: Although typically caused by periodontal disease, bad breath in dogs and cats is another oral health concern that arises from lack of proper dental care.
  5. Retained Baby Teeth: Common in small breed dogs, pets that do not lose their baby teeth are at risk for developing several oral health complications ranging in severity from teeth overcrowding to an oronasal fistula. While the only cure for retained baby teeth is professional extraction, at home dental care can alert the owner to the potential issue before it becomes too severe.

To help prevent these oral health issues from developing, petMD.com suggests brushing your pets’ teeth at least twice a week. If your pet is resistant to toothbrushes and pastes, there are many treats, toys, and oral rinses that can be used as supplements. Pet owners should also speak with their veterinarian to determine how often their pets should receive oral examinations and professional teeth cleanings.

Media Contact: Kelly Lange, 610-234-4114, klange@pet360.com

About petMD

petMD.com is the leading online resource focused solely on the health and well-being of pets. The site maintains the world’s largest pet health library, written and approved by a network of trusted veterinarians. petMD was founded to inspire pet owners to provide an ever-increasing quality of life for their pets and to connect pet owners with pet experts and other animal lovers. petMD is a subsidiary of the Pet360 family of brands, which also includes www.Pet360.com – a highly personalized & engaged community dedicated to simplifying and enhancing pet parenting, www.PetFoodDirect.com – the most complete pet food and supply retailer online, and www.NationalPetPharmacy.com – a fully certified, full-service pet pharmacy delivering pet meds, vitamins and comprehensive pet health and wellness products.

About Us

petMD.com is the leading online resource focused solely on the health and well-being of pets. The site maintains the world’s largest pet health library, written and approved by a network of trusted veterinarians. petMD was founded to inspire pet owners to provide an ever-increasing quality of life for their pets and to connect pet owners with pet experts and other animal lovers. petMD is a subsidiary of the Pet360 family of brands. For more information, visit www.petMD.com.