The symptoms of periodontal disease are not limited to bad dog breath but also includes excessive tartar build up, tooth discoloration and gum disease. Most dogs will suffer from some degree of periodontal disease but with proper dental care and food, the degree of the affliction can be limited.
Periodontal disease can lead to increased risk of heart, liver and kidney disease. There are many factors that influence the development of periodontal disease: age, diet, shape of teeth, occlusion, bacterial flora, immune status, general health, genetic predisposition, lack of oral hygiene, size and shape of dental arches, breed and chewing habits or motion.
Of these, lack of oral hygiene is probably the most significant reason for the development of periodontal disease in companion animals.