Imagine you couldn’t brush your teeth for a month or even a week. Now, have a look in your pet’s mouth. A high percentage of dogs and cats have some form of dental disease by the time they are two years old. Are your pet’s gums red? Is there brownish build up on the teeth? Are all the teeth still there? Make sure you check the ones near the back of the mouth but be careful not to get bitten. Does the breath smell? If you answer yes to any of these questions, go back to my original question and give some thought to what it must be like living with that mouth.
Dental disease if left untended can lead to pain, loss of teeth and infections in the heart, liver and kidneys.
But here’s the thing: there’s no reason for your pet ever to have any of these symptoms. With regular dental care and exams, dental disease with all of its pain and expense is entirely preventable. Dental specific diets, chew toys, and regular brushing (if your pet will tolerate it) can deter tartar buildup, decreasing the frequency of dental cleanings. And while it is still likely that your pet will need a full cleaning from time to time, the discomfort and expense of this is much reduced if the mouth has been well cared for, and the number of extractions kept to a minimum.
Our veterinarians do a routine dental checkup as part of your Annual Wellness Exam. If you have any concerns about your pet’s mouth, or believe that they are exhibiting any of the symptoms listed above, please contact us and we can make recommendations for care and future prevention.
In addition, we offer regular Client Classes on dental health for your pet. Read more about Client Classes on Oral Health.