Oral health is just as important for our pets as it is for us. When most of them never have their teeth brushed, pets are highly susceptible to developing periodontal disease (gum disease), a bacterial infection of the gums. In fact, the majority of cats and dogs will have already developed some form of periodontal disease by the time they reach age three.
Periodontal disease can cause painful symptoms locally in the mouth such as sensitivity and tooth decay, but the real trouble is that it also has a detrimental effect on the general health of the body. Bacteria from periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body, causing generalized inflammation and damaging organs. Left untreated, periodontal disease can significantly reduce a pet’s quality of life and even lead to death.
5 Signs Your Pet Needs a Dental Appointment
While it’s best to maintain your pet’s oral health before they develop any problems, they should see a veterinarian right away if they have any of the following symptoms:
1. Breath That’s Persistently Terrible
Really bad breath is a sign of too much harmful bacteria living in the mouth, indicating periodontal disease.
2. Discolored Teeth
When plaque builds up on teeth and is left to harden, it turns into tartar (also called calculus). This creates a yellow or brown discoloration along the gum line and puts your pet at a high risk of developing periodontal disease.
3. Excessive Drooling
While some drooling is normal for pets, especially certain dog breeds, excessive drooling is an indication that something is wrong. If your pet has any sort of oral pain or discomfort, they will likely begin to produce an abnormal amount of saliva.
4. Dropping Toys or Food
Frequently dropping toys or food can indicate oral pain.
5. Red, Swollen, or Bleeding Gums
Red, swollen, and/or bleeding gums are a clear indication of periodontal disease.
Comprehensive Pet Dentistry in Goldsboro
In addition to caring for your pet’s teeth at home with regular brushing and providing them with dental-friendly treats and chew toys, you can help keep your dog or cat healthy with routine dental exams and cleanings with our veterinarian in Goldsboro. At Eastwaye Veterinary Clinic, we’re proud to provide our patients with comprehensive dental care including dental cleanings, exams, tooth extractions, and dental x-rays.
To learn more about the importance of your pet’s oral health or to schedule an appointment, we welcome you to contact our office today.