It’s Pet Dental Health Month! Find Out Why Dental Care Is So Important for Pets
Can you imagine what it would be like if you never brushed your teeth or had a chance to visit the dentist?
Well, that icky-sticky state is a reality for most dogs and cats because most pet owners simply aren’t aware that their pets’ teeth need care, too. Unfortunately, the consequences of neglecting a pet’s teeth extend beyond the mouth. February is Pet Dental Health Month, and our veterinarian at Eastwaye Veterinary Clinic is celebrating by spreading awareness about the importance of dental care for cats and dogs.
Why Dental Care Is Integral to Cat & Dog Wellness Care
Without proper dental care, plaque and tartar accumulate on the surface of the teeth. As this accumulation increases, it creates pockets of space between the teeth and the gums where harmful bacteria thrive. These bacteria irritate and inflame the gums, causing the condition we call gingivitis. If left unaddressed, the bacterial infection will progress leading to periodontal (gum) disease. Untreated, periodontitis damages the periodontal ligaments that connect teeth to the jawbone, and the jawbone will eventually begin to deteriorate.
Periodontal disease not only causes oral pain and discomfort, but it can harm your pet’s overall health. The bacteria responsible for periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream and travel around the body, damaging organs, causing general inflammation, and leading to systemic illnesses that can significantly reduce a pet’s lifespan.
How to Prevent Your Pet from Becoming a Statistic
An estimated 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have developed some form of periodontal disease by age 3. However, there are plenty of ways you can protect your pet from the dangers of poor oral hygiene.
We recommend a combination of professional dental exams and cleanings and at-home dental care.
Professional Pet Dental Cleanings for Dogs and Cats
During a pet dental cleaning, our veterinarian will scale and polish your pet’s teeth, removing plaque and tartar. We will also perform a complete examination, looking for early signs of potential problems. Pet dental appointments are similar to a person’s dental appointment, except that they occur with pets under general anesthesia for their comfort and safety and sometimes require the removal of teeth.
At-Home Pet Dental Care
We recommend brushing regularly with a toothbrush designed for your pet’s breed and size and toothpaste that’s safely formulated (and flavored) for dogs or cats. If your pet won’t tolerate brushing, consider using pet dental wipes, instead. You can also offer your pet dental-friendly treats and chew toys.
To learn more about caring for your pet’s teeth, we welcome you to schedule a pet dental appointment in Goldsboro, NC today.