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What Is Your Pet’s Dental Grade?

Posted In: Canine Health & Wellness

One of the most important things you can do for your pet is to stay on top of his or her dental care. Not only do dental problems cause bad breath, they can also cause liver, kidney, and heart disease. Since up to 85% of dogs and cats have some sort of dental disease by the time they are three or four years old, the best way to help your pet is to have regular dental cleanings starting before there is tarter or plaque build-up visible.

Pet dental disease is categorized in “grades.”

Grade 1: You may or may not see tarter or plaque, but it is there. Gums may appear to be pink or inflamed. These are early signs of dental disease. This is when you will want to schedule a dental cleaning with your veterinarian, and if you haven’t started home cleanings, you will want to start now.









Grade 2: The pet’s gum may appear swollen or red. You will probably start noticing bad breath. A dental cleaning in your veterinarian’s office and adding dental care to your home routine can help this from progressing.









Grade 3: Your pet’s gums may bleed and be bright red. The gum is actually being destroyed by infection at this point.









Grade 4: Bacteria is destroying your pet’s gum, tooth, and bone. The bacteria may be spreading through the bloodstream and damaging the kidneys, liver, and heart. Teeth may be loose or may have already fallen out.









Once your veterinarian has determined your pet’s dental grade, he or she will recommend treatment. At AMCMA, we anesthetize pets during the cleaning. This allows us to get a thorough cleaning above and below the gum line. Plus, it is much less stressful for your pet to be asleep during the cleaning.

The Animal Medical Center of Mid-America has veterinarians at two locations that can answer questions about your pet’s health. Call 314-951-1534 or click here to request an appointment online.