Dental wellness is a very important aspect of overall pet health.
At least once per year, your veterinarian will examine your pet’s mouth to check for signs of problems. Some of these signs include loose or broken teeth, swollen gums, and bad breath. These may be caused by other conditions, and if left untreated can lead to other health problems.
For example, loose or broken teeth can cause pain in your pet’s mouth. A painful mouth may cause your beloved dog or cat to eat less food and possibly lose weight. Furthermore, loose teeth usually mean your pet has swollen or bleeding gums which indicate a bacterial infection. Any bacteria present in your pet’s gums easily travel through blood vessels to vital organs such as the heart or kidneys, potentially causing disease. Fortunately, these problems can be prevented with sound dental health practices both at home and with our veterinary team.
At home, the ideal way to promote dental health in pets is brushing their teeth daily. If you aren’t sure how to start, please contact us! We also feature toothbrushing in this video on our Facebook page (click to see video)
Some pets are not keen on having their teeth brushed, and we offer several alternatives:
- edible dental chews
- water additives
- dental diets
Similar to people, pets should receive professional cleanings every so often. A professional dental cleaning involves removing problems not easily seen in your pet’s mouth, such as tartar below the gumline or extracting infected teeth. To make this procedure safe and comfortable for your pets, they are placed under general anesthesia. As per the American Veterinary Medical Association, “…anesthesia will always have risks, it’s safer now than ever and continues to improve so that the risks are very low and are far outweighed by the benefits. Most pets can go home the same day of the procedure, although they might seem a little groggy for the rest of the day.”
For more information, please give us a call or email.
Written by: Nanette Lai, Veterinary Assistant
American Veterinary Medical Association. (2019). February is National Pet Dental Health Month. Retrieved from: https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Pet-Dental-Care.aspx