Complications of Dental Disease
The heart is one of the main internal organs affected in advanced dental disease, because bacteria from the mouth infection can readily deposit on the heart valves (especially the mitral valve). After a variable period of time, the valves can malfunction and leak blood backwards through one of the chambers of the heart, instead of forward like intended. This turbulence of blood as it flows through this leaky valve can often be heard as a heart murmur. The result of this back pressure is a build up of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema). Fluid in the lungs will cause your pet to start coughing and feel very ill- it is a serious sign that requires immediate veterinary care. This problem with the heart valves is one of the main reasons we use antibiotics before and after the teeth are cleaned.
In addition to heart (cardiac) problems, dental disease can affect the kidneys and the liver. These are both vital organs, and require a pet free from dental problems if they are to function properly.