Did you know that pet dental health issues and periodontal disease is a growing epidemic? Over 70% of cats and 85% of dogs have dental disease by the age of 3.
By preventing periodontal disease your pet can live a longer, healthier life. Common signs of disease are bad breath, excessive drooling, broken teeth, reluctance to eat or play with toys, and pawing or rubbing of the face. Sneezing and even eye infections can be related to poor oral health. Periodontal disease can lead to tooth decay and gingival infections, spreading bacteria through the bloodstream, eventually damaging major organs such as the liver, kidney, and heart.
- Stage 1– red, swollen gums, plaque on teeth
- Stage 2– bad breath, plaque, and calculus on teeth, reversible damage
- Stage 3– severe plaque and calculus accumulation, bleeding gums, bad breath, permanent damage
- Stage 4– gingivitis, bleeding gums, pus, bad breath, tooth root exposure, tooth loss, permanent damage.
Home Dental Health Routine
Home care for you pets’ dental health is an important first step. Knowing what a healthy mouth looks like will help you notice the early signs of oral diseases in your pet. Examining your pets’ mouth at an early age will teach them to be comfortable with their mouths being handled. Starting home oral care early will lead to a life time of good habits. Brushing your pets’ teeth is just as important as brushing your own. Pet specific toothpaste, soft-bristled brushes, and treats made specifically to combat accumulation of plaque and tartar on your pets’ teeth are made available for you in our in-house pharmacy or can be found on our online pharmacy.
Dental Do’s and Dental Don’ts
- Do begin brushing with a pet toothpaste with your finger, or using a pet finger toothbrush, to get your pet used to having something in his mouth, before working up to a toothbrush specially made for pets.
- Do try to perform dental home care, once daily is best. Brushing is preferred, but on days that you cannot brush then give a dental chew.
- Don’t use human toothpaste on your pet.
- Don’t attempt to clean the inner surface of your pet’s teeth. Your pet’s tongue and saliva clean this surface on its own.
- Don’t consider dental home care as an alternative to full dental cleaning if your pet has more advanced dental disease. Even a Stage 1 dental score needs professional veterinary care to return your pet’s teeth to a healthy condition.
Pet Dental Visits with a PetCare Veterinarian
As part of every wellness visit, it is important that your pet receive an oral exam to assess the health status of his or her mouth. Just like with humans, regular dental cleanings once a year are key to keeping your pet pain free and healthy. Dental x-rays should be done occasionally to detect dental diseases that aren’t visible to the eye. If the dental disease is advanced, anesthetic dental cleaning will be necessary. Pathology below the gum line will be revealed through full mouth x-rays, which is done under anesthesia.
PetCare Animal Hospital is committed to serving Haughton and the surrounding communities and will always provide the most compassionate care possible. We have trained veterinary dentists and a passionate veterinary team who can handle emergencies, wellness exams, routine dental work and everything in between. Call us today, 318-390-7561 to schedule an appointment and check up on your pet’s dental health.