Dental disease can affect our dogs and cats at any stage of life, but it is most common as our pets enter middle age. Studies at the Veterinary Colleges of Ohio State and Cornell University have found that 85% of dogs and cats over 6 years old have some form of dental disease. Dental disease can be put into three categories: gingivitis, tartar and pyorrhea.
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. You can easily see this by the increase in the pinkness of your pet's gums, especially at the gumline.
Tartar is the accumulation of plaque on the teeth, usually starting at the gumline in conjunction with gingivitis
Pyorrhea is the most serious of the three conditions. It is pus in the mouth, usually between teeth and gums.