According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, about 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of dental disease by the age of three.
Plaque, tartar and bacteria in the mouth lead to periodontal disease which can be painful and dangerous for pets. Bacteria from the mouth enters the body through the bloodstream which can cause damage to the heart, liver and kidneys. This may shorten your pet's life.
Since gum disease increases the risk for other, more serious health conditions, daily home care in conjunction with annual veterinary dental exams and cleanings are essential. In fact, studies indicate that daily home brushing and regular dental care may add as much as five years to your pet's life!
Your pet's overall wellness depends on good oral health.
The following factors can contribute to dental disease in your dog or cat:
Dental disease becomes more common and worsens rapidly as your pet gets older. Without proper care, periodontal disease can progress, become painful, cause tooth/bone loss and contribute to more serious health conditions. While home dental care is ideally started at a young age, it's never too late to start!
Some breeds have a predisposition to periodontal disease. Brachycephalic breeds like Pugs, Shih-Tzus and French Bulldogs often have overcrowding of teeth which leads to more extensive plaque/tartar buildup and tooth issues. Many purebred cats such as Siamese, Persians and Himalayans are also predisposed to severe gingivitis and early onset periodontal disease. Home care is recommended at least 4-5 times weekly for all pets, but especially those with known predisposition.
Feeding a well balanced diet for your pet's life stage, breed and specific medical needs is pertinent to your pet's overall health which includes their oral health. There are specific diets devoted to oral health, but they may not be the right fit for all pets. Consult your veterinarian for questions regarding the best diet for your pet. It's important to remember that the right diet is only one part of maintaining good dental health.
How do I know if my pet has dental disease?
If you are wondering if your dog or cat has periodontal disease, watch out for tartar, bad breath, red/inflamed gums, painful chewing, or other oral concerns. Consult your veterinarian immediately, and after a proper oral exam, your veterinarian can make a treatment plan to ensure your pet remains healthy and happy!
Are you in The Woodlands? We offer state of the art dental cleanings that include full mouth dental radiographs, hand AND ultrasonic scaling of the teeth and under the gum line, polishing of all tooth surfaces, extractions or other necessary dental treatments and comprehensive dental charting. Call us at 281-292-4700 or schedule your pet's dental cleaning online.