As a pet owner, you do everything you can to make sure that your dog or cat is happy and healthy. But one area that tends to be overlooked in pets is dental health and hygiene. The truth is that dental care is just as important for animals as it is for humans. Pet dental disease is a serious threat to your dog or cat’s health and wellbeing, causing sickness and disability in millions of pets each year. But with regular dental examinations and proper care, it can be avoided.
Causes and Effects of Pet Dental Disease
The initial cause of periodontal disease is plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth and under the gum line. This creates an ideal breeding ground for the harmful bacteria that cause infections that can spread throughout the whole body.
Left untreated, oral infections can lead to painful, swollen and bleeding gums, tooth loss, and eating problems. Eventually, these infections can cause systemic diseases that can damage internal organs, including the heart, liver, kidneys, and lungs. Poor oral hygiene and care can shorten your pet’s lifespan by several years.
Detecting Pet Dental Disease
Pets often don’t show overt signs of distress, but there are some symptoms of pet dental disease you can watch for, including:
- Excessive plaque and tartar buildup
- Red and bleeding gums
- Missing, cracked, chipped, and discolored teeth
- Bumps or patches in the mouth
- Unusual chewing action
- Refusal to eat
Preventing Pet Dental Disease
You can do a lot to protect your pet from oral disease right at home. Examine your pet’s teeth on a regular basis for signs of problems. With a little patience, you can train them to let you brush their teeth. Your vet can tell you about special diets, treats, and chews to promote good oral health in your dog or cat.
But the best way to prevent pet dental disease is to have your vet do a complete dental examination. To schedule an appointment with the Arrow Dog & Cat Hospital, simply fill out our online form and we’ll contact you right away.