Welcome to our series on Common Ferret Illnesses, and specifically our deep-dive into ferrets suffering from common dental disease. In this article, you will learn what causes it, the most common symptoms, and which ferrets are most at risk. We will also provide an overview on what steps you will want to take to help your ferret improve. What is Dental Disease in Ferrets? Ferrets can suffer from issues with both the tooth and gums. Periodontal disease or gum disease is incredibly common in older ferrets, and is characterized by chronic inflammation of the gum and bone support. Plaque, which is located on a ferret’s tooth, is also extremely common. Why is this? According to ferret expert Bob Church, “eating kibble wears flats spots on the tooth, which increases the risk of platform fractures (slab factures)… which increases risk for gingivitis and periodontal disease.” According to Ferrets for Dummies, the main cause of dental disease is the lack of natural diet. Kibble does not contain hair, bones, organs, and other textures and minerals that properly remove plaque and tartar from a ferret’s teeth. If you feed kibble, we forgive you! We personally feed kibble at this time too. In the future we plan to switch to raw but completely understand that it can feel overwhelming. If you must feed kibble, we recommend Wysong DS 90. Symptoms: Bad breathInflamed gumsDroolingLoose teethMouth soresDifficultly eatingTartar and plaque Note: Mouth sores can also be a symptom of renal disease. Most at Risk: Because plaque buildup is accumulative, older ferrets are usually the most prone to dental disease. Any kibble-fed ferrets are susceptible to developing dental problems. Ferrets with lymphoma may be more prone to periodontal disease as well. How Do You Treat Ferret Dental Disease? The easiest way to reduce and improve your ferret’s dental problems is by switching from kibble to a raw prey diet. If you are unable to do this, you should at least make a point to brush your ferret’s teeth daily. We do not recommend trying to use professional dental cleaning tools yourself, as you may damage your ferret’s enamel. We recommend avoiding ferret treats high in sugar (like Ferretvite) as this will accelerate plaque build-up.