Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy

or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

Q. Do dog and cats need dental cleaning?

Answered By

A. Periodontal disease is the most common clinical condition occurring in adult dogs and cats. Bad breath is the first indication that your pet may be have dental disease. Plaque is caused by a buildup of bacteria in the mouth and this hardens to form tartar. Both tartar and plaque can continue to grow in the mouth and cause issues both above and below the visible gumline.

Without proper treatment, such as a dental cleaning this can cause both problems with the oral cavity, such as root abscesses, tooth decay or even discomfort with eating. In addition, this may lead to damage to other internal organs in your pet’s body. Your veterinarian can access how severe your pet’s dental disease is by evaluating the amount of tartar and plaque or gingivitis present. A thorough dental scaling and polishing is completed under anesthesia. For more information check out: http://bit.ly/1uLqBzO

DISCLAIMER: The answers in Ask petMD are meant to provide entertainment and education. They should not take the place of a vet visit. Please see our Terms and Conditions.


Ask an expert about your unique situation now FOR FREE!

IMPORTANT: The opinions expressed in Ask petMD content area are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. Our Ask petMD experts include veterinarians, vet techs, veterinary students, pet trainers, pet behaviorists and pet nutritionists. These opinions do not represent the opinions of petMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a petMD veterinarian or any member of the petMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, timeliness, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. petMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment. Do not consider petMD user-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your veterinarian or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on petMD.