Dental disease is one of the most common problems in dogs and cats. The problem is plaque, the layer of bacteria and food particles that forms on the teeth. Tartar develops when this calcifies and hardens. Plaque causes gingivitis – infection of the gums. Left untreated, it leads to periodontitis, where the infection gets into the tooth roots and damages the ligaments and bones that support the teeth. Eventually tooth loss occurs. Bacteria can also enter the bloodstream and cause other problems including heart, kidney and liver disease. This is why we recommend getting your pets teeth regularly checked or visiting a nurse for free dental checks and maintenance tips.