Dental care is vital to the overall health of any pet. Dental disease can lead to health issues with the heart, liver, and kidneys, and can affect the entire body through the bloodstream. In fact, 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats over three years of age suffer from some form of dental disease, making it the most common pet health issue among our pet population.
The information below is provided to you so that you can make an informed decision concerning your pet’s dental health. We perform thorough cleanings here at Grand Central Veterinary Hospital, including the area beneath the gums which you are NOT able to see or access at home. Please call us at (727) 895-8387 today to learn more and schedule your pet’s dental cleaning.
Your pet’s overall health can be affected by the health of the mouth and teeth. That is why it is important to have your pet’s mouth and teeth checked every year by your veterinarian. With a thorough oral exam, a plan can be made for dental cleaning and to address any other issues that may have been observed. Your pet’s teeth and gums should be checked at least once a year by your veterinarian to check for early signs of a problem and to keep your pet’s mouth healthy.
Why is oral health important for your pet?
Once your pet reaches the age of three years old, and in some breeds earlier, some form of periodontal disease is starting. Plague builds up then the hard tarter develops. These irritate the gums leading to gingivitis or inflammation of the gums. The process just worsens over time leading to infected gums and teeth and loss of teeth. And all the while your pet has bad breath which is not pleasant. Early detection and cleaning can help prevent the damage that the build up of plague and tarter can cause on your pet’s teeth and gums. Periodontal disease can also lead to other problems involving the heart, kidneys and liver.
ABOVE VIDEO COURTESY OF AVMA
What can be done at home to help with dental care?
Brushing your pet’s teeth daily or as often as you can will cut down on the soft plague buildup and help prevent the hard tarter from developing. There are toothbrushes, finger brushes and dog tooth paste that can be used. There are special chews that contain specific enzymes that help to deter the bacteria in the mouth that develops plague, tarter and bad breath. Ask our Veterinary Nurse about these great chew treats.
What about “anesthesia-free” dental cleanings?
The American Veterinary Dental College does not recommend dental cleanings without anesthesia because they do not allow cleaning or inspection below the gum line, where most dental disease occurs, and can result in injury to the pet or the person performing the procedure.”
credit: American Veterinary Medical Association