Pet owners understand the need for proper dental care for themselves, but sometimes overlook this important area for the well being of their dog or cat. Research has demonstrated that more than 80% of animals over the age of 3 years have some form of dental disease and need treatment or care. For this reason, it is critical to address this area of your dog or cat's health at an early age. In fact, preventative measures taken at home are the best way to insure that pet does not suffer any ill-effects from dental problems. There are many things you can do to help keep teeth and gums healthy. Examples are brushing(this is best!!), dental chews, rinses, feeding hard food or dental diets and chew toys. By beginning these actions at an early age, you are helping your pet more than you realize.
What is "dental disease"? The answer to this question is complex, as the effects of inappropriate care can be broad. The obvious answer is that dental disease incorporates any of the signs seen in the mouth caused by tartar producing bacteria. Examples are gingivitis, tooth decay, tooth loss, receding gum line, bad breath etc. Remember that these symptoms can often be very painful if undetected or untreated. Do you remember your last tooth ache?? Ouch! However, dental disease does not stop here. The bacteria responsible for dental disease can enter your pets bloodstream and travel to various organs where they can cause many insidious, significant problems. Examples are endocarditis(a disease of the heart) and kidney damage.
By preventing dental disease, you are not only helping your pet live a pain free life, you are also insuring that your pet will have the ability to eat as a senior citizen and extending lifespan by preventing things like kidney and heart disease.
As part of your dog or cats regular physical exam, we will look closely at dental health and may recommend "cleaning" the teeth. Understand that if we clean your pets teeth, we are removing not only tartar, but harmful bacteria from the teeth and under the gum line where the bacteria attacks the body.
This procedure is the same that you receive at your dentist. Let's work together to keep your pet healthy. Please talk to us about dental health.