Pet Dental Health: An Important Link for Overall Wellness
We’re all looking for ways to enhance health and vitality. Some methods are long-lasting; others explode with novelty, only to fizzle out after a while. One easy, sure-fire way to increase your furry loved one’s longevity is by staying on top of pet dental health.
During every pet wellness exam, we take a peek inside the mouth to see what’s happening with the teeth and gums. Staying ahead of any developing problems is one of the best ways to prevent infections, gingivitis, and periodontal disease.
An alarming majority of cats and dogs over the age of three show early signs of dental issues – even though most problems are entirely preventable. Routine exams, professional cleanings, and regular care and attention at home can stop issues before they get out of hand.
Long-Term and Sweeping
While it makes sense to care for an animal’s teeth to prevent poor oral hygiene, the larger impact doesn’t always hit home right away. Sure, doggie or kitty breath is unappealing, but the effect bacteria can have on the entire body are far-reaching.
An accumulation of plaque on the teeth and gums can lead to severe inflammation (gingivitis). Over time, the bone that supports the teeth begins to recede, resulting in loose or missing teeth. What’s worse, as dental disease progresses, harmful bacteria leave the mouth, enter the bloodstream, and find their way into the heart, kidneys, or liver, causing serious damage.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for a pet owner to be surprised by a diagnosis of periodontal disease. However, by the time the following symptoms are observed, the destruction has already occured:
- Bad breath
- Pain or sensitivity
- Poor appetite
- Difficulty chewing
- Discolored teeth
- Red or inflamed gums
- Loose teeth
- Loss of interest in chew toys
Supporting Pet Dental Health
Good oral hygiene can add years to an animal’s life and is supported in the following ways:
- Proactive and regular pet wellness exams
- Professional cleanings under anesthesia
- Digital x-rays
- At-home cleaning
Anesthesia is a concern for many pet parents. Rest assured that we take every safety measure to ensure the health and comfort of our patients. We’ll discuss with you the ways in which we approach cleanings, extractions, scalings, and more. With our combined levels of skill and years of experience, you and your pet will be at ease when it comes to pet dental care.
Brush at Home
Many pets don’t mind having their teeth brushed while others require time and patience. If performed on a weekly basis, your pet will eventually accept it as part of their routine. Try finding a flavor of pet toothpaste that your cat or dog prefers, offer loads of praise, and pair the activity with something rewarding, like a walk or game.
If you’re new to the concepts of pet dental health, we welcome your questions or concerns. Pet dental health is a huge component of your best friend’s long-term health. There’s no time like the present to get started!