It may surprise to know that dental disease is the #1 health problem facing most dogs and cats. Whereas we are trained to visit the dentist every six months, as pet parents we can neglect regular cleanings for their pet’s teeth. In fact, by the age of three, 80-percent of all dogs and 70-percent of all cats show signs of dental disease.
Every dental procedure includes a full-mouth set of x-rays, which allow our staff to see potentially problematic issues that may be hiding below the gum line. Being able to treat these issues early greatly improves your pet’s comfort, and can also save significant expenses down the road.
Why is your pet’s dental care so important?
The same bacteria that can destroy tooth enamel can instigate peridontal disease. Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissue surrounding the teeth that progresses through stages. Plaque and tarter form first in the cracks of the teeth and at the gum line. At this point the plaque is not fixed, and brushing can dislodge it. However, if the plaque is not removed, inflammation of the gums or “gingivitis” can form causing the gums to become red, swollen and bloody. The plaque can harden onto tarter that can separate the tooth from the gum. Plaque can then form under the gum line and subsequently cause pus to form at the tooth root, impacting the tooth. Finally, the boney socket holding the tooth can erode and cause the tooth to fall out. This is all very painful process for your pet that can usually be prevented or slowed by adequate dental home care. However, as the pain is chronic and slowly progressive, it is not readily evident to the owner.
Bacteria causing dental disease can seed to other organs of the body and is frequently involved in heart and kidney disease in dogs and cats.
A: All dogs and cats should be provided with dental home care starting at 4 months of age (or earlier) when the permanent teeth erupt.
A: Brushing teeth daily is one of the most reliable ways to prevent dental disease in pets. Additionally, using a product like Oravet can be very helpful for preventing plaque buildup.
A: It is best to brush your pet’s teeth every day or every other day right after a meal.
A: It is always best to start brushing your pet’s teeth at a very young age (4 months or earlier) so he or she become use to it as soon as possible. However you should not just stick a toothbrush in your pet’s mouth; make sure you start slowly and carefully. Ask us for a demonstration.