Pet Teeth vs Human Teeth – Can You Spot Dental Disease?

April 11th, 2017 by Daniel Mudrick

You probably have never seen what an unhealthy human mouth looks like – discoloured or loose teeth, red or bleeding gums, foul breath… An unhealthy mouth would be easy to spot because we’re so used to seeing healthy-looking human mouths. Just think of every time someone smiles during your day, pictures or ads on Facebook, and when you look in the mirror and brush your teeth. 

Yet we can miss the signs of dental disease in our pets because we aren’t as used to seeing healthy animal mouths! And to make matters worse, our pets can’t tell us when they have a loose tooth, inflamed gums (gingivitis), or periodontal disease (infection along the root of the teeth); in fact, many pets (especially cats!) will go to great lengths to hide these symptoms from us. Unfortunately, dental health disease is the #1 most commonly diagnosed health problem in pets.

It’s important to know that when it comes to dental health and dental disease, our dogs and cats’ teeth aren’t so different from our own. Just like humans, regular teeth brushing and dental care can make all the difference between a healthy and an unhealthy mouth. It’s so much easier to prevent dental health problems than to treat them – plus, your pet won’t have to go through the pain of sore gums, cavities, or fractured teeth.

But if your pet does start to develop periodontal disease, it can lead to loss of gum tissue and bone around the tooth, as well as tooth loss and even internal organ damage from bacteria in the bloodstream. Depending on how far it goes, it can be irreversible.

We’ve created a chart to show you exactly what pet tooth decay looks like – with the human counterpart beside it so you can see just how bad it really is! Check it out:

Pet Teeth vs Human Teeth – Can You Spot Dental Disease?

Pretty ugly, isn’t it? This is action of long standing bacterial infection.

If you notice your pet’s mouth looking like anything other than the first (healthy) image, make a dentistry appointment with your vet right away!

The good news is that with proper dental care and clean, healthy mouths, your furry family members will enjoy longer, happier lives with you.


Clarkson Village Animal Hospital provides full pet dentistry services. We also check your pet’s teeth during their annual checkup. Book your appointment now!

How to Introduce Cats and Dogs So They’ll Get Along – get our simple step-by-step guide!

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About Daniel Mudrick

I'm the owner and founder of Clarkson Village Animal Hospital, a state-of-the-art veterinary hospital that's open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Clarkson Village Animal Hospital has always been a dream of mine, and by caring for one patient at a time, the hospital has continued to grow. During those rare times when I'm not at the hospital, I'm at yoga, hiking, gardening, and spending time with my family. I also enjoy reading to stay current on the most recent advances in veterinary medicine.

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