Studies show that up to 85% of dogs and cats over the age of four suffer from periodontal disease. Periodontal disease occurs when plaque and bacteria form around the gum line. This causes pain and inflammation, weakening the connection between the teeth and the gums. Chronic periodontal disease can lead to heart, lung, kidney and liver diseases.
According to the American Animal Hospital Association, dogs and cats should receive oral examinations and a dental cleaning under general anesthesia once a year. For cats and small breed dogs, dentals should start at one year of age and continue annually. For larger breed dogs, dentals should begin at 2 years of age and continue annually.