When there is a build-up of bacteria, food particles and saliva on the teeth form plaque. Plaque sticks to the tooth surface above and below the gum line and, if not removed, will calcify into tartar (also known as calculus). Plaque appears as a yellow-brown material on the teeth. Over time the bacterial infection in tartar causes irreversible changes to occur. These include the destruction of supportive tissues and bone, resulting in red gums, bad breath and loosening of teeth.
This same bacterial infection is also a source of infection for the rest of the body (such as the kidney, liver, and heart) and can make your pet seriously ill. Ultimately, dental disease results in many pets unnecessarily suffering tooth loss, gum infection and pain. It also has the potential to shorten your pet’s lifespan.