Most pets show symptoms of periodontal disease by age 3. As plaque accumulates on your dog or cat’s teeth, it hardens to become tartar (or “calculus”). Bacteria can begin to develop, which damages your pet’s teeth, gums, bones, and can spread to the rest of their body, causing very serious damage to their organs. It can also be very painful. Because of this, it is very important to have regular dental examinations and cleanings. It is one of the best ways of keeping your pet happy and safe.