According to the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC), most cats and dogs show some signs of periodontal disease by the age of 3. Periodontal disease is the most common condition occurring in adult cats and dogs. Other than bad breath there are often few signs of the disease and a professional dental cleaning often comes too late to prevent extensive disease. As a result, periodontal disease is often under treated and can cause many problems that can be associated with damage to internal organs as the pets age.
The main problem develops as plaque and calculus spread under the gum line and if left untreated will eventually lead to tooth decay and loss. Studies have shown that bacteria from the mouth can enter the blood stream and can be carried all around the body. Periodontal disease has been associated with changes in the kidneys, liver and heart.