Plaque is a gummy substance that forms on the teeth within a few hours after a meal. Within 24 hours, plaque begins to harden by combining with salts that are present in the saliva. As the plaque continues to accumulate and mineralize, it eventually transforms into tartar. Tartar, also called calculus, is rough and porous and can develop above and below the gum line.
There are two ways that tartar harms the teeth and gums.
First, tarter forms a rough surface serving as a place for bacteria to grow and multiply in the mouth. Bacteria can cause inflammation of the gums (gingivitis), which often results in painful bleeding. When gingivitis worsens, it leads to periodontal disease, increased inflammation, pain, and tooth loss. As tartar builds up along the gum line, it pushes the gums away from the roots of the teeth. As the gums recede, they expose the sensitive, enamel-free part of the tooth which causes pain.
Second, the bacteria on the tartar can be absorbed into the bloodstream and deposited in various organs, including the heart and the kidneys, causing infection and decreased organ function.
Call our team at Alouette Animal Hospital at 604-463-7100 today to schedule a dental exam for your pet. We are offering complimentary dental exams until March 15th 2019, as well as 10% off all dental services.