Original Question: How can I tell if my dog or cat has gum disease? - Anonymous
The first indication of gum disease is bad breath or halitosis. If halitosis is present, the best way to tell if your pet has gum disease is to lift their lips and have a look at the teeth and gums if they are comfortable with having their face handled. Do the teeth surfaces have a brown buildup or tartar? Are the gums red and inflamed? Is blood present at the gumline? If any of these conditions are present, it is time for your pet to have a professional cleaning. Please be careful if your pet shies away from you when you approach their face. This behavior could be a sign of oral pain, and touching the face could cause them to snap or bite. If there could potentially be pain, make an appointment to have your pet’s teeth checked at the veterinary hospital.
Jeanne Perrone, MS, CVT, VTS (Dentistry)
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