How often do you look at your pet’s teeth? Checking those doggie or kitty bicuspids probably isn’t part of your daily routine, but it should be. Would you check more often if we told you your pet’s mouth is the window to her health? It’s true. Your pet’s teeth play a vital role in keeping your pet healthy and vibrant.
How important is your pet’s dental health? We hope these dental details will convince you it’s time to check those pet’s teeth and make an appointment for her dental exam.
1. More Pets Suffer from Dental Health Issues Than Many People Realize
Many pet parents aren’t aware that their dog or cat has a dental problem.
Most cats also have gingivitis and periodontal disease by the time they reach four years old.
Studies show that 50%- 90% of cats suffer from dental disease.
2. Pet Dental Disease Is Treatable and Preventable
Regular cleanings, brushing, and dental toys can help prevent gingivitis. If gingivitis isn’t addressed, it develops into periodontitis, which cannot be reversed.
When gingivitis isn’t treated, it affects the tissue around your pet’s teeth and the gums, eventually softening the bone and connective tissue that holds the tooth in place. Periodontitis also increases the number of bacteria that enter your pet’s system and results in inflammation and broken and lost teeth.
Tooth resorption occurs when your pet’s tooth becomes weak from the inside out. Between 30 and 70% of cats experience this problem which results in pain, inability to chew food, irritability, and tooth loss.
3. Dental Disease Affects More Than Just Your Pet’s Teeth
Caring for your pet’s oral health does more than just keep their smile glowing, it prevents some serious and painful health conditions. When your cat or dog’s teeth become rotten, it can cause:
Pathologic Jaw Fracture
Periodontitis and gingivitis weaken the teeth and support structure that holds them in place. Your pet’s body will send white blood cells to the inflamed area which weaken the tooth socket and jaw bone. This can eventually lead to a jaw fracture.
Kidney and Liver Disease
When your pet’s gums become inflamed, more bacteria enter her system and wind up in her bloodstream. This bacteria then wreaks havoc on her liver and kidneys and can result in liver and kidney disease.
Oral inflammation has also been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and heart failure.
Pain, Trouble Eating, and Loss in Quality of Life
Chronic oral pain can cause your pet intense pain, stress, and make eating a difficult chore. Over time, your pet can experience weight loss and a nutritional deficiency that can cause liver, kidney, and heart disease.
4. The Most Pet Parents Don’t Recognize the Warning Signs
When you begin avoiding those kitty and puppy kisses, it’s likely time for a dental exam and cleaning for your pet. Many of the signs of oral health issues may seem commonplace, benign, or ubiquitous.
Look for these signs of serious dental disease:
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Reddened gums
5. You Can Help Prevent Your Pet’s Dental Disease and Discomfort
The most impactful thing you can do to help prevent your pet from becoming part of these disheartening dental stats is bring her in for regular dental exams and cleanings.
You can also brush your pet’s teeth using a pet-friendly toothpaste. Spoiler: starting early in your pet’s life helps her get used to the routine & never use toothpaste made for people.
Feed your pet a high-quality diet.
Chew toys and dental hygiene treats help.
We Want to Wish You Years of Smiles with Your Pet
Don’t delay your pet’s dental exam. Keeping those teeth clean and her mouth healthy can extend your pet’s life by years and have a significant impact on her quality of life. Give us a call to make an appointment for your pet’s dental health check.
Image credit: Adri