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Dental Month

01 Feb Dental Health Month

Did you know, February is National Dental Health Month?

When was the last time you looked in your pet’s mouth? Does your pet have bad breath?

Bad breath isn’t the only dental disease sign dog and cat owners should be concerned with. There are five additional warning signs of oral health disease in dogs and cats. This includes a yellow-brown crust on teeth, bleeding gums, changes in chewing or eating habits, tooth loss or abnormal drooling. One or several of these signs are a concern! Left untreated, dental disease can lead to heart, liver and kidney problems.

According to C.E.T., oral disease is the most frequently diagnosed infectious disease in pets. By the age of 4, approximately 85% of dogs and cats show signs of dental disease. Besides bad breath and tooth loss, your pet may also experience severe pain. Small breed dogs seem to experience dental disease more often.

How does this happen? Plaque in your pet’s mouth may contain potentially harmful bacteria. Allowed to multiply, the bacteria causes irritated, bleeding gums, leaving an open door for bacteria to enter the blood stream, negatively impacting vital organs. Without proper, routine dental care, your pet is in harm’s way of more serious problems than just stinky breath!

According to Hill’s Science Diet, emerging science is showing a strong link between good oral health and heart and kidney health. Good news for pet owners: talking with your veterinarian, and providing routine care can help reduce the risk of oral disease!

In addition to regular dental checkups and cleanings from your veterinarian, there are some at home steps you may follow. Brushing your pet’s teeth daily helps keep bacteria and plaque at bay. Your veterinarian may also suggest a special diet. Keep in mind that each pet is different. While one pet may only need a yearly dental exam, some pets may need a cleaning or exam more often. Your veterinarian will determine the best schedule for maintaining your pet’s optimum, overall health.

The same tools your dentist uses on you are also used on your pet. These tools include an Ultrasonic Scaler and Prophy Polisher. The cleanings are performed under general anesthesia, allowing a thorough, comfortable and safe procedure for your pet.

Many pet owners are concerned about their pet’s age and safety during a dental procedure. You shouldn’t have to worry. Blood work or other tests may be performed to ensure your pet can safely undergo a cleaning. Trained professionals are caring for your pet. If a cleaning is not a safe choice, other options will be discussed with you.

Overall dental health leads to your pet’s longevity. Take the time to look in your pet’s mouth. Let’s add more smiles to their life!