Everyone can understand the importance of dental care for their pets, because the risk if gingivitis and periodontal disease is the same for animals as it is for people. There is no reason to believe that animals do not feel the same pain of sore gums and a toothache that people feel. So, the main reason to care for you pet’s teeth is to prevent pain.
If you never brushed your teeth, your mouth would be sore and you would have trouble eating. You might feel tired all the time because the infection in your mouth would spread throughout your body. The same thing happens in your pet’s mouth. The mouth is the door to the rest of your body. It has a very good immune system to protect it against the constant barrage of bacteria and toxins it deals with every minute, but it needs some help. We must keep it clean of the plaque that is constantly forming on the teeth.
Plaque is a clear, thick substance consisting of saliva, bacteria, and food particles. In fact, plaque is 80 % bacteria and forms within 6-8 hours after brushing, It sticks to the teeth and collects in the pockets around the teeth. If not removed, an infection will result, This infection will eventually overwhelm the body’s immune system.
Sign of gingivitis and periodontal disease include:
- Bad Breath
- Difficulty chewing or eating
- Red or swollen gums, may bleed
- Brownish-yellow calculus (tartar) on teeth
- Receded gums
- Loose or missing teeth
If your pet is experiencing any of the above signs, please call us at the office. The doctor will perform a thorough head-to-toe examination while paying special attention to the mouth (assessment). At that point they may begin making recommendations based on what they found which may include anesthesia and a dental cleaning (treatment). Once any specific issues or concerns are addressed, it is time to start thinking about home care and different oral health options (prevention).
The best defense against plaque is regular brushing at home in combination with professional scaling and polishing.
To learn more and watch a video on how to brush your pets teeth at home please visit www.veterinarydentaleducationcenter.com.
You can also visit the “links” section of our website to find a link to the Veterinary Oral Health Council’s (VOHC) website. This is a great website to find quality oral health products for your pet that have been evaluated for safety and efficacy.