NATIONAL DENTAL AWARENESS MONTH
"Pet's need dental care, too"
"Pet's need dental care, too!" is the slogan for February, National Pet Dental Health month. Dental disease can be a serious problem for our pets. Imagine how our own teeth would look and feel if not brushed!
How does dental disease develop?
Just like us, pets develop plaque (an accumulation of old cells, saliva and bacteria). As plaque builds up on teeth the bacteria multiply. These bacteria cause irritation of the gums seen as redness and swelling. As plaque hardens, it turns into tartar or calculus. Tartar causes gingivitis (inflammation of the gums). Gingivitis leads to periodontitis (inflammation and breakdown of the priodontal tissues which hold the teeth in the gum tissues and jaw bone). As times passes, the inflamed gums will pull away from the teeth causing pockets for bacteria to become trapped. As bacterial numbers grow, so can the danger. The bacteria can actually enter your pet's bloodstream where they can migrate to the major organs (including the lungs, heart, kidneys and liver) which can often cause disease.
What are the signs of dental disease?
The signs of dental disease are variable. Some of the more common signs include, pawing or rubbing at the mouth, poor appetite, difficulty eating or chewing, loose or missing teeth, visible plaque, tartar and bleeding, inflamed or receding gums.
What can we do to prevent and treat dental problems?
A good physical exam is the best first step to evaluate your pet's overall health. Depending upon the severity of his/her condition certain steps are taken. Many pets need dental scaling, root planing and polishing which requires sedation and a day's vacation at our clinic while others can start a preventative program. Home care including brushing teeth and special diets or chewing material can help to maintain healthy gums and teeth.
Hill's Prescription Diet dental treats t/d
Try Hill's Prescription Diet Treats (t/d) for your Canine or Feline friends. These treats not only taste good but help scrub the teeth for your pet. They also provide an excellent source of antioxidants! Look for them next time you visit us!
For detailed instructions on how to brush your pet's teeth click on the "Brushing your pet's teeth" link under the "Dental Awareness Month" tab on the left side of this page!