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Dental Disease Precursors

When was the last time you looked inside your pet's mouth?

Periodontal disease in dogs, or dental disease as it is often called, is one of the most common problems seen in veterinary practice, but often goes undetected by owners.

Dental disease precursors to periodontal disease are plaque and calculus.


Plaque is the initial stage of dental disease. When it is first deposited it is yellowish-brown in colour and soft in texture. As it hardens it becomes known as calculus.


Calculus collects on all tooth surfaces, but is found in the greatest amounts on the cheek sides of the upper premolars and molars, and on the lingual surfaces of the lower incisors (front teeth). These particular areas are where the salivary ducts open into the mouth.

Calculus, commonly referred to as tartar, is composed of 3 different types of bacteria:

  • Calcium salts.
  • Food particles.
  • Other organic matter.

The build up of calculus on teeth is the main cause of dental disease in dogs. It occurs pretty much to some extent in all dogs over the age of 2 years, and its presence and severity is determined very much by the type of food dogs' eat and their home oral hygiene routine.

The key to keeping dogs free of dental disease precursors is very similar to that of their owners. Dogs should have an oral examination by their veterinarian twice a year, and owners need to brush their dogs teeth at least once a day - preferably after eating.

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Take a moment to check out the video below.

This video is the best I have been able to find which explains in simple language, why it is so important to your dog's present and future health to introduce a daily dental care routine.

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