Dental caries (non-human)

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This article is about dental caries in non-humans. For dental caries in humans, see dental caries.

Dental caries, also known as tooth decay, is uncommon among companion animals.[1] The bacteria Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sanguis cause dental caries by metabolising sugars.[2]

The term feline cavities is commonly used to refer to feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions, however, sacchrolytic acid-producing bacteria (the same responsible for Dental plaque) are not involved in this condition.

In dogs[edit]

Although rarely seen in cats, the incidence of caries in dogs has been estimated at approximately 5%.[3] Dogs are less likely than humans to have tooth decay due to the very high pH of dog saliva, which prevents an acidic environment from forming and the subsequent demineralization of enamel which would occur.[4] In the event that tooth decay does occur (usually from trauma), dogs can receive dental fillings just as humans do.


  1. ^ "AVDS Cavities information page — Dog Tooth Health — Cat Tooth Health". American Veterinary Dental Society. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "Dental Caries". WikiVet. Retrieved 20 November 2013. 
  3. ^ Hale FA. "Dental caries in the dog." J Vet Dent. 1998 Jun;15(2):79-83. PMID 10597155.
  4. ^ Chris C. Pinney, The Illustrated Veterinary Guide for Dogs, Cats, Birds, and Exotic Pets (Blue Ridge Summit, PA: TAB Books, 1992), p. 187.