Vet Dentistry: The Three Categories of Dental Diseases

Vet Dentistry: The Three Categories of Dental Diseases

Dental diseases can affect dogs and cats even at a very young age; however, it’s more widespread when they get to midlife. More than 85% of canines and felines have developed dental troubles after six years of age.

The three major categories for dental diseases consist of gingivitis, tartar, and pyorrhoea. Gingivitis is the least of issues, and pyorrhoea is the most severe. Treatments can vary from prescription antibiotics to complete dental scaling. Discover more about these problems to advocate dental care for your family pets.

Three Categories of Pet Dental Disease


Gingivitis causes swelling of the gums around the teeth; it’s very typical; every pet has it to some extent in their life. Thus, family pets must get routine examinations from their primary vet, who can quickly identify signs of gingivitis; visit their website here.

Like in humans, plaque build-up on the tooth is brought on by the interaction of food and saliva with bacteria from the mouth, which activates the release of enzymes that break down the gum tissue, which leads to swelling.

Gingivitis can be easily prevented with appropriate oral hygiene. However, if left without treatment, it results in periodontitis or inflammation of the hard tissues around the tooth area. 


The plaque build-up together with gingivitis, if left untreated, might combine with minerals in the mouth that harden like cement; this is called tartar. Eventually, tartar will cause decay, gum problems, and other dental problems.

Brush your pet’s teeth daily or thrice a week to address this problem. A diet modification that promotes dental health is also recommended. If you can not resolve your pet’s issue, a veterinary dentistry specialist should examine and treat your pet’s oral problems.


Pyorrhea is the third or final stage of gum disease; it’s an advanced stage that can bring about tooth loss if untreated. Pus starts to develop at the bottom of affected teeth and gums. Pyorrhea also causes bad breath, pain, and loss of appetite in your pet. The infection can get into the bloodstream and may affect other organs.

Types of Procedures

Full Anesthetic

This is given when your pet requires moderate to acute treatments; this consists of extractions, scaling, masses, or abscesses. Depending on the doctor’s assessment, treatments might include referrals to facilities like the South Wilton Veterinary Group for diagnostic radiographs, bloodwork, general anesthesia, and nerve blocks.

Pets that need less intensive cleaning, no extractions, and sensitivity to anesthetics might be given intravenous sedatives or “twilight sedation.”

Non-anesthetic Dentistry (NAD)

This can be done if your veterinarian establishes that your pet has the temperament to allow the technician to conduct the treatment without anesthesia. Research studies show that it is equal to or even much better than other procedures. It’s also more affordable compared with medications.

Dental Care for Pets without Teeth

Chelonians, like turtles and tortoises, have a keratinized horny beak. They need to have a well-balanced diet with abrasive chewing materials to keep their beaks at the proper length. Diet lacking in calcium and vitamin D might cause overgrown beaks that require trimming by a veterinarian.

Birds, similar to chelonians, have no teeth. Instead, they have a beak for eating, playing, preening, and climbing. Lack of a well-balanced diet and chewing items leads to overgrowth. Provide birds with crunchy vegetables, nuts, cuttlebones, and wooden toys to help beak wear and avoid overgrowth. You may do a quick search for  “bird vet clinic near me” if you want to have your avian pets checked..


With regular care, you can avoid serious oral health problems in your pets that often lead to severe illnesses affecting the kidney, liver, and heart. Remember that the most severe dental issues just started possibly with gingivitis. If left untreated, this gum disease can be prevented or treated easily but might progress to serious ones.

It doesn’t matter if you’re caring for dogs, felines, or birds; they all need proper care in your home and routine appointments with their vet to ensure optimal health.