As a pet owner, there are few joys that come near being bathed in dog or cat kisses. But if you’ve been leaning away or avoiding those pet smooches, it may be time to take a closer look at your pet’s dental health. If you’re ready to take a bite out of dental disease and provide your pet with a healthy mouth, here’s what you need to know:
It’s More than Just Bad Breath
Your pet’s mouth is the window to their health. While this may seem silly--it’s true! A healthy mouth prevents unnecessary pain, helps your pet maintain healthy digestion, and prevents more serious health issues. Gum disease in pets has been linked to disease of the major organs like the kidneys, liver, heart, and lungs.
When plaque builds up along your pet’s gum line, your pet’s body sends white blood cells to clear up the problem. Unfortunately, this process also leads to gum deterioration, which can expose dentin and the tooth’s root. This not only causes pain, but it also creates an opening for bacteria to enter your pet’s bloodstream.
Furthermore, plaque gives bacteria a surface to attach to and proliferate. This increase in bacteria can lead to infections and bad breath.
In other words, if you keep your pet’s mouth healthy, you can prevent your pet from becoming ill and provide your pet with a better life.
It’s Not Too Late to Begin Caring for Your Pet’s Dental Health
When it comes to your pet’s dental health, you can take charge and begin a lifelong dental routine today. What can you do to make a difference for your pet’s oral health?
Begin by committing to brushing your pet’s teeth. It takes plaque about 48 hours to harden, so you want to brush it off before it has a chance to hang around and do damage. If you’ve never brushed your pet’s teeth, we can show you how. All it takes is a pet toothbrush, some pet toothpaste, and a little bit of patience.
Your pet’s diet also affects their dental health. A high-quality diet can provide your pet with the necessary minerals for strong teeth. Your pet’s food can also reinforce clean teeth by "brushing" or scraping away plaque.
Provide your pet with dental chews and dental-friendly toys. Be mindful of treats and toys that can be too rough on your pet’s teeth. Bones, tennis balls, and antlers can wear away enamel and even crack your pet’s teeth. On the other hand, you can find toothbrush toys for cats and dogs.
Inspect your pet’s mouth from time to time.
Cats can be a little trickier when it comes to allowing access to their pearly whites but do not skip checking those teeth. Cats can suffer from as many dental issues as dogs, plus some. Some cats develop a dental problem called “tooth resorption.” Tooth resorption affects 20% to 60% of cats. Tooth resorption is the breakdown of a single tooth. It can be quite painful for cats. Look for spots on your cat’s teeth that appear more translucent or dark. You also want to pay attention to any teeth that appear to be dwindling over time. If you notice these issues, make an appointment right away.
As for dogs, you want to look for cracked or broken teeth, dark areas, and yellowing.
If you notice your pet eating more slowly or being reluctant to eat, dental pain may be the issue. A change in eating habits warrants an exam.
Don’t Skip Your Pet’s Dental Cleaning and Exams
One of the most impactful ways to protect your pet’s mouth is to bring them in for dental cleanings and exams. We provide the best preventative dental care and dental intervention. We can extract problem teeth and even provide pets with dental implants.
Don’t delay--your pet’s health is on the line. If you’re missing those pet kisses or worried about your pet’s dental health, we hope you will take action and make an appointment to see us soon. We are happy to discuss your pet’s dental needs.
Photo Credit: Pexels.