Dental Care 101
Unless you are regularly providing some form of dental care for your pet, you are neglecting an important factor in its overall health. Symptoms of serious gum disease include among others:
1. Bad breath
2. Excessive drooling
3. Fractured teeth
4. Loose teeth
5. Red and inflamed gums
6. Inability or unwillingness to eat hard foods
7. Poor Appetite
8. Behavioral changes
9. Bleeding gums
10.Depression and lethargy
Periodontal or gum disease is one of the most common conditions seen in pets today. The problem originates when plaque and tartar starts accumulating on your pet’s teeth. Bacteria in plaque can infect gum tissue and the roots of teeth resulting in disease and tooth loss.
With the accumulation of plaque and tartar comes bacteria that can now enter the blood stream through blood vessels, causing infection to some of your pet’s vital organs including: the heart, kidneys, liver, lungs and the brain. The damage to these organs is sometimes irreversible and can deteriorate your pet’s life and even cause death.
A pet owner's preventive measures at home:
Brush your pet’s teeth – Ideally daily as you would your own; however, you should never use human toothpaste. Brush at an angle and in small circles.
Routine Cleanings – All pets should have their teeth cleaned at least every 6 months. This will help prevent the buildup of bacteria that causes periodontal disease which can lead to tooth loss and other major health problems.
Chew Toys – Rope bones, nylon bones, and mice can help scrape food debris off teeth. Also, special dental chews, such as CET treats for dogs and cats, are infused with enzymes that help kill bacteria.
As you care for your dog’s mouth, look for warning signs of gum disease such as bad breath, red and swollen gums, a yellow-brown crust of tartar around the gum line, and pain or bleeding when you touch the gums or mouth.
Since not all pets are good candidates for our service, we encourage you to find out if your pet is a good candidate. Find A Vet near you that provides our services in our Find A Provider section and start the important fight against dental disease for your pet today.