Framingham Animal Hospital

1415 Edgell Road
Framingham, MA 01701



Imagine what your mouth would feel like if you never brushed your teeth or went to the dentist. For many dogs and cats, this is a painful reality. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, more than 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have dental disease by the age of 3. Dental (or periodontal) disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem in pets.

Common signs of dental disease include:

     Yellow or brown buildup (tartar) on the teeth
     Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
     Bad breath
     Excessive drooling
     Changes in eating or chewing habits
     Pawing at the face
     Loose teeth
     Depression and poor appetite

Even if your dog or cat doesn’t have these symptoms, we recommend that you have a veterinarian evaluate your pet’s dental health at least once a year. Bacteria and food debris accumulate around the teeth and, if left unchecked, will lead to deterioration of the soft tissue and bone surrounding the teeth. This decay can result in tooth loss, facial abscess, and even fracture of the jawbone.

Dental disease can also affect other organs in the body: Bacteria in the mouth can get into the bloodstream and cause serious infections in the kidneys, liver, lungs, and heart. A physical exam combined with appropriate laboratory work can help determine if infection in the mouth is causing systemic illness.