Did you know that dental disease is an infection?
The formation of dental plaque and tartar in pets, as in people, is a normal process. However, the presence of tartar creates an environment which promotes the overgrowth of bacteria, leading to dental disease.
If left unchecked, this bacterial infection will lead to deterioration of the soft tissue and bone surrounding the teeth. The decay results in irreversible periodontal disease and even tooth loss.
And it can be dangerous to your pet’s overall health, too. The bacteria from dental disease are absorbed into the bloodstream, where they infect your pet’s vital organs. Untreated dental disease can cause serious health problems including heart, kidney, liver and brain complications.
Dental disease is painful.
Sore gums and teeth are as painful to pets as they are to people. But because pets cannot tell us what hurts, and because animals tend to be stoic about showing pain, the signs of dental disease may be difficult to observe.
“Doggie Breath” is not normal – it is the first indicator of infection.
Naturally, signs of oral disease include things like visible tartar buildup, red and swollen gums, and bad breath. However, it can also cause other symptoms- changes in appetite, pawing at the face, irritability, unexplained fatigue and generalized depression.
Prevention is less costly than treating disease.
Dental cleanings can be costly, but preventing dental disease through routine cleanings is far easier, and less expensive, than treating problems once they occur.
By preventing dental disease, your pet is spared pain and discomfort as well as the possible long-term health complications of poor dental health.
What can I do?
- Take your pet to the veterinarian for a dental exam. Don’t wait for your annual checkup if you suspect a problem.
- If recommended, have your pet’s teeth professionally cleaned. A professional dental cleaning is the only way to safely remove tartar from your pet’s teeth.
- Begin a dental care regimen at home. While brushing is best, there are a variety of ways you can combat oral disease at home. This is the most important thing you can do to prevent your pet from needing a professional cleaning.
- Schedule regular veterinary checks. Our doctors perform a dental tartar check at each exam to monitor the progress of your pet’s dental health.