Imagine what your mouth would feel like if you never brushed your teeth or went to the dentist. For many dogs and cats, this is a painful reality. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, more than 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have dental disease by the age of 3.
Dental disease can range from tartar buildup to gingivitis, and both can lead to oral abscesses. The resulting disease can have a wide reaching effect on the animal from bad breath to severe deterioration of the bone around the teeth, which if unchecked will proceed to severe periodontal disease and eventually tooth loss.
Infected or abscessed teeth can also affect other organ systems throughout the body. Bacteria from the mouth can spread through the bloodstream and develop severe infections in the kidneys, liver and heart. Annual examinations of your pet can help identify early dental disease and if present, help tailor a preventative program that can help keep your pets teeth healthy.
Dental (or periodontal) disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem in pets. Common signs of dental disease include:
- Yellow or brown buildup (tartar) on the teeth
- Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Excessive drooling
- Changes in eating or chewing habits
- Pawing at the face
- Loose teeth
Even if your dog or cat doesn’t have these symptoms, we recommend that you have a veterinarian evaluate your pet’s dental health at least once a year. Schedule your pet’s dental exam today! We can also show you how to brush your pet’s teeth and recommend foods and treats that will help combat plaque and tartar buildup