Similarly, pet dental care should be a regular part of your pet ownership responsibilities.
Most of us know that keeping our mouths clean and healthy is an important part of caring for ourselves. Chances are, you brush your teeth a few times daily and visit the dentist once or twice a year. Similarly, pet dental care should be a regular part of your pet ownership responsibilities.
Good home and professional dental care is essential to your pet’s health. We are all about prevention here at The Bluffs Pet Clinic, and by taking a proactive approach to your pet’s oral care, he or she has an excellent chance at a long, happy, and healthy life.
The Link Between Oral Health and Longevity
Periodontal disease, also known as dental disease, is one of the most common ailments seen by veterinarians. This is no surprise, considering that up to 85% of cats and dogs have some form of the disease by the time they reach 3 years of age.
Periodontal disease is an infection of the soft tissue and supporting structures of the teeth, caused by a buildup of bacteria along the gum line. If left untreated, periodontal disease can cause your pet significant pain, tooth loss, and may lead to a wide variety of systemic problems.
As dental disease progresses, bacteria make their way into your pet’s bloodstream and travel throughout the body, where they come into contact with vital organs such as the heart, kidneys, and liver, potentially causing significant damage.
By making your pet’s oral health a priority, you will be protecting him or her from some serious problems down the road. Having a healthy mouth can add years to your pet’s life.
Does My Pet Have Dental Disease?
Contrary to popular opinion, bad breath in pets is not normal and may be a sign that your dog or cat is suffering from dental disease. Other indications include:
- Excessive drooling, especially in cats
- Loose teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Swollen or inflamed gums
- Loss of appetite or difficulty eating
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Pawing at the mouth
If caught early, dental disease can be treated and many of its associated problems prevented. Give us a call if you notice any signs of dental disease in your pet.
Pet Dental Care at Home
Good home care is an essential component of your pet dental care routine. Not only will pet dental care at home prevent or slow the progression of periodontal disease, it will also allow you to become more familiar with your pet’s mouth and spot any emerging health issues before they become serious.
Brushing your pet’s teeth every day (or as often as possible) is the most effective way to care for their mouth.
You can purchase pet toothbrushes and pet-specific toothpaste (never use human toothpaste on a pet) at any pet supply store. Introduce your pet to brushing slowly and offer lots of praise along the way. Your veterinarian is a great resource when it comes to learning about home pet dental care.
Professional Pet Dentistry
In addition to brushing your pet’s teeth at home, your veterinarian will perform an oral examination on your pet at each wellness visit (recommended at least once per year). If it is determined that your pet could benefit from a full dental examination and cleaning, we will create an effective treatment plan and discuss all options for home and follow-up care.
We are committed to your pet’s health and happiness! Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. Happy brushing!