All pet owners want the best for their furry friends, especially when it comes to their overall health. In doing so, most pet owners ensure their pets eat healthy food, exercise, and get treatment when sick. However, many pet owners routinely overlook a crucial pet wellness area — dental health.
Every human being should visit the dentist at least twice every year and brush their teeth twice a day to make sure their teeth and gums are healthy. Pet owners, in the same way, must treat their pets’ oral health with as much seriousness. However, this does not mean brushing your dog’s teeth two times a day. There are simple things you can do to improve your pet’s dental health.
Pets rely heavily on their teeth to do a lot of things. They use teeth to chew, bite, growl, and meow. Pets also rely on their teeth to function as hands. They will defend themselves, investigate new objects, and carry items with their teeth. These are just a few reasons why dental health is important to your pet.
Other reasons why you need to take care of your pet’s oral health include:
Periodontal disease is also known as gum disease and comes in two stages. The first stage is where gingivitis develops. At this stage, proper dental care and treatment can reverse the problem. The second stage is more advanced, and it is referred to as a periodontal disease.
Reports show that 85 percent of pets get periodontal disease by the time they are just three years old. Veterinarians recommend taking your pets for dental checkups in their early stages of development in order to stop the progression of periodontal disease. Older pets need more checkups since their odds of getting this disease increases with age. Advanced gum disease can also lead to tooth loss if not treated.
Naturally, cats and dogs do not have the freshest smelling breath. However, there are cases where you find a pet with a particularly bad case of bad breath that you cannot withstand. Bad breath in pets is the result of the buildup of bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria can lead to cavities, gum disease, and plaque buildup. Bad breath could also be a sign of a serious underlying medical condition. If you are noticing your pet’s bad breath, take them in for a dental visit as soon as possible.
Dental diseases such as broken teeth, lacerations, and abscesses can lead to serious health issues if not treated early. Diseases that start in the gums and teeth can eventually lead to problems with the joints or intestinal tract. They can also lead to heart and kidney diseases. Dental visits can help catch dental problems on their onset to prevent diseases from spreading to the rest of the body.
Even though different pets exhibit different signs of possible dental disease, some of the common signs include:
Pawing at the mouth.
Refrain from chewing or eating.
Discoloration or swollen gums in areas of the mouth.
Open wounds or broken teeth.
Professional veterinarians suggest that pet owners should take their animals for dental checkups at least once a year. During these visits, a vet will inspect your pet’s teeth. Teeth cleaning removes plaque buildup and tartar. Unlike human beings, pets require anesthesia during the cleaning process.
For more information about pet dental health call 573-346-5733. If you suspect your pet of having dental issues, make an appointment at one of our four R Veterinary locations in Linn Creek, Missouri.