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The underlying cause of your pet's bad breath
November 23, 2015

If your pet has bad breath, is usually a sign of an underlying health issue. The best defense and only surefire way to stay on top of your pet's dental health is with frequent teeth cleanings & check ups. Doing so helps prevent disease as well as assists us in early detection of health issues.

Possible causes for bad breath include:

1. Periodontal disease. By far the most common cause of bad breath in pets. Studies show that after the age of 3 years, 80 percent of dogs and cats will have signs of periodontal disease. The cause of the offensive odor in these cases is the bacteria that coalesce as plaque and cause irritating gingivitis. As plaque matures and periodontal disease progresses, more destructive bacteria come into play. Periodontal disease is a painful condition that can lead to tooth loss and damage to organs like the heart and kidneys.

2. Teething. Kittens and puppies often have bad breath when they are teething. Kittens are especially prone to the problem, which typically lasts only a couple of months.

3. Oral disease. In addition to gum disease a host of other oral diseases can cause bad breath. These include stomatitis, a common feline condition that causes painful inflammation of the gums and mouth tissues; oral masses, which include both cancerous and benign growths; and gingival hyperplasia, a condition in which the gums overgrow, creating bumps and deep crevices where bacteria proliferate.

4. Gastrointestinal disease. If the esophagus, stomach, or intestines are sick, they can make for stinky breath. It’s a far less common reason for halitosis than periodontal disease, however.

5. Metabolic disease. Diseases that affect the body’s metabolic balance or allow for the presence of abnormal levels of certain toxins in the blood can yield impressive mouth odors. Kidney disease is the most well-known of these. The end-stage process called uremia causes a characteristically sour-smelling breath.

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