The Problem
Over time, plaque and tartar can build up on dogs and cats teeth.  This causes the teeth to be yellow, unattractive, unhealthy and it also causes bad breath.  Plaque and tartar also contain bacteria wich can cause gum disease.

Periodontal disease 
For the sake of your pet's health and comfort, periodontal disease is a threat that can't be ignored.  Otherwise known as the 'silent killer' of pets.  It is estimated that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats over the age of 3 suffer from periodontal disease, which is a serious deterioration of the gums and supporting bones of the teeth.
Many of the signs of the disease are hard to miss. Bad breath, discolored teeth and swollen gums that may bleed easily can all be early indications of trouble. Late-stage periodontal disease can cause permanent damage, including loose teeth and tooth loss. Left unchecked the resulting bacteria can enter your pet's bloodstream which causes infection and/or damage to vital organs such as the kidneys, lungs, heart and liver.

Bad Breath is Not Natural For Pets
Many people falsely believe that pets just have bad breath because they are animals - especially dog owners.  This is not true.  Bad breath results from the harmful bacteria growing in the pets mouth.  You may find that simple measures such as tooth cleaning food, or tooth cleaning treats will fix the bad breath problem as well as protect their pet's health.

Preventative Measures At Home
Preventing periodontal disease by keeping your pet's teeth and gums healthy isn't just a job for your veterinarian. It's your job, too.  While nothing can take the place of regular visits to the veterinarian for checkups and cleaning, ongoing follow-up oral care at home is just as important in controlling plaque and tartar formation.
There are many products available at Higgins Animal Clinic and Wheeling Animal Hospital to help prevent bad breath, periodontal disease, and other dental issues from forming.  Most are recommended while in the exam room with the doctor, but the rest of our knowlegable staff can also help advise you on what products would be best for your pet.

Research indicates that proper oral health care may actually extend the life of your pet by 2 to 5 years.