Imagine what your mouth would feel like if you never brushed your teeth or went to the dentist. For many dogs and cats, this is a painful reality. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, more than 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have dental disease by age three. Dental (or periodontal) disease is a pet’s most frequently diagnosed health problem.
Common signs of dental disease include:
- Yellow or brown buildup (tartar) on the teeth
- Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Excessive drooling
- Changes in eating or chewing habits
- Pawing at the face
- Loose teeth
Even if your dog or cat doesn’t have these symptoms, we recommend that you have a veterinarian evaluate your pet’s dental health at least once a year. The rate at which bacteria and food debris accumulate around the teeth and, if left unchecked, will deteriorate the soft tissue and bone surrounding the teeth. Dental disease is irreversible.
Dental disease can also affect other organs in the body: Bacteria in the mouth can get into the bloodstream and cause severe infections in the kidneys, liver, lungs, and heart. If these problems are left untreated can result in death. A physical exam combined with appropriate laboratory work can determine if the infection in the mouth has spread.
We can also help show you how to brush your pet’s teeth and recommend foods and treats that will help combat plaque and tartar buildup. Finally, schedule your pet’s dental exam today.