If your pet has chronic oral infections there is a risk of bacteria being swallowed and then spreading to other parts and organs of the body. The immune system is also subjected to a constant burden and over time, these toxins can cause liver, kidney, lung and gastrointestinal disease or organ failure.

Lymphocytic plasmacytic stomatitis (LPS) is thought to be an autoimmune disease of the gums and lining of the mouth and throat. Although the symptoms may appear the same, do not mistake this disease with chronic gingivitis which is almost always due to tartar build-up.

The first thing to understand about LPS is that this disease can be a secondary symptom of a greater underlying viral infection such as Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, Feline Leukemia, Feline Herpes (aka Rhinotracheitis) or Calicivirus, or it may be an immune response gone awry. Current theories are that the cat develops an allergy to tartar. Always have your cat tested for FeLV and FIV if faced with this condition.

Dental disease has also been linked to heart conditions. Recent studies have shown that bacteria is often found on the abnormal heart valves of animals with heart disease. These bacteria were identical to that cultured from infected teeth and gums. It is no coincidence that many animals with heart disease also suffer from periodontal problems. If neglected, periodontal disease can cause a heart infection called bacterial endocarditis, which is life-threatening as well as difficult and expensive to treat. 

When your pet is suffering from dental problems, ask your vet whether antioxidants and other immune strengthening vitamins will help your pet.