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Recognizing the Signs of Dental Disease in Pets


Did you know that most dogs and cats will struggle with dental disease at some point in their lives? It's not just about stinky breath. From pesky tartar buildup to serious infections, dental problems can cause some major pain in your furry friend. Plus, those little teeth are connected to big problems. Untreated dental disease can harm your pet's heart, kidneys, and more. 

Bad Breath: Beyond Just a Nuisance

Bad breath is the most obvious (and smelly.) sign of dental trouble in your pet, but did you know there's a whole lot more going on beneath the surface? That unpleasant odor is caused by bacteria lurking in your pet's mouth. As bacteria feast on leftover food, they create a sticky, gooey substance called plaque. Let that plaque hang around, and it'll harden into tartar, that crusty stuff the vet scrapes off during cleanings. Both plaque and tartar irritate the gums causing inflammation and a condition called gingivitis.


What does all that mean for your furry friend?

  • Discomfort and pain (even if they're hiding it well)
  • Difficulty eating
  • Increased risk of infections that could spread throughout the body
  • Potential damage to organs like the heart and kidneys


Bad breath is never something to ignore, even if your pet seems otherwise fine. A quick checkup can catch little problems before they turn into big ones.

Changes in Eating Habits: When Chewing Becomes a Chore

Ever noticed your normally chow-loving dog or cat pick at their food? Maybe they seem hesitant to munch on their favorite hard treats? Changes in eating habits are a major red flag for dental problems in our furry friends. Here's why:


  • Sore gums, loose teeth, or even mouth infections can make chewing seriously painful.
  • Odd Eating Patterns: They might drop food, only chew on one side of their mouth, or take unusually long to finish a meal.
  • Pickiness or Refusal: If it hurts, even the tastiest treat might not be tempting. Some pets may even refuse to eat altogether.


Don't assume your pet is just being finicky or getting old. Changes in eating often point to a deeper issue, and dental disease is a prime suspect. 

Visible Signs: What to Look Out For

Healthy pet teeth should be white, and their gums should be a nice, healthy pink. But when dental disease sets in, those pearly whites and pink gums start to change. Here's what to watch for during your at-home pet checkups:


Discoloration: Yellow or brown buildup, especially along the gum line, is a huge indicator of tartar. Teeth might even appear loose or misaligned.

Gums That Don't Look Right: Red, swollen, bleeding, or receding gums are all signs of gingivitis or more advanced gum disease.

Missing Teeth: This is an obvious sign but one that definitely warrants a vet visit.

Other Mouth Issues: Look out for any unusual lumps, bumps, or sores inside your pet's mouth.


Remember, the sooner you spot these signs, the sooner we can help. Early treatment is key for preventing serious complications from dental disease. 

It's Time to Prioritize Your Pet's Smile at The Colony Animal Clinic

Your pet's dental health isn't just about a fresh-smelling smooch from your best furry buddy – it's about their overall well-being. Whether you're in The Colony, Plano, Frisco, or nearby, remember regular vet checkups and dental cleanings are the best way to prevent painful problems and keep those tails wagging.


The caring team at The Colony Animal Clinic is here to make pet dental care easy and stress-free. From routine checkups to advanced dental procedures, we have the expertise (and the gentle touch) to make sure your pet's smile stays bright and healthy for years to come. Ready to take that first step toward better dental health for your furry family member? Book your pet's dental exam at The Colony Animal Clinic today.

The Colony Animal Clinic 

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Visit us whenever you like!

Visit us whenever you like!

5906 Paige Rd. The Colony, TX, 75056
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Sun: 10:00am - 4:00pm on alternate Sundays. Please call for availability.

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