By: Jeanne R. Perrone, MS, CVT, VTS (Dentistry) | Jul 8, 2020
Jeanne explains how to tell if your dog or cat has gum disease by outlining various signs and symptoms to look out for.
She is a founding member and former president of the Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians – A NAVTA Specialty Group which certifies, trains and mentors credentialed technicians to be specialists in dentistry.
For more answers to common dental care questions click here.
The first indication that gum disease is present 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 look. 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 you. If there is potential pain, make an appointment to have your pet’s teeth checked at the veterinary hospital.
If your pet is comfortable with having their face handled, lift the lips, and look at the teeth and gums. 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.