Dental care is an important part of healthcare for dogs and cats.
Bad breath stinks (literally) but did you know that dental disease can cause some pretty serious problems for your dog or cat?
Healthy teeth and gums are super important as infection in the mouth can have big consequences throughout the body. Bacteria from the mouth cause not only disease for the teeth, but also travel to the heart, kidneys, and liver leading to premature disease in these important organs.
Periodontal disease is staged 1-4.
- Stage 0: Teeth are clean, and gums are flat and pink. You may see some tartar
- Stage 1: Tartar begins building up and gums begin to redden
- Stage 2: Gums continue to be swollen and bone loss begins to develop
- Stage 3: Bone loss continues to occur
- Stage 4: Severe bone loss can lead to loss of teeth and bloody gums
Periodontal disease is only reversible at stage 1. After any bone loss occurs, the changes are permanent and maintenance to prevent progression of dental disease is more involved.
Think this is an older pet problem? A staggering 80% dogs and 70% of cats have periodontal disease by the age of 2.
Dental disease is not just about the teeth. Infection in the mouth negatively impacts major organ systems like the heart, kidneys and liver. A healthy mouth is a big part of overall health.
We want your pets to live long healthy lives, which is why we recommend annual dental cleanings in addition to daily home care. Preventative dentistry not only helps keep them healthy, it is less expensive for you. It allows shorter anesthesia and less pain when we are not extracting teeth.
The best thing you can do at home is to brush your pet’s teeth daily with an enzymatic veterinary toothpaste. While not possible with all animals, many adjust to this routine well, especially if started while they are young puppies and kittens. There are also many supplements that can be used from powders, to chews to water additives.
Products that have been shown to be beneficial to dental health all have a seal of approval from the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) displayed on the packaging.
Do not wait until your pet is experiencing pain from diseased teeth to seek treatment. Let’s keep that mouth healthy from the start. If you would like to get an estimate for dental evaluation and treatment, please call to set up an appointment today.