Dental disease is a common condition in dogs and cats. Experts estimate that 85 percent of cats 3-years and older and percent of dogs 2-years and older have some form of dental disease. The earlier dental disease is prevented and treated, the better. The older your pet gets, the more susceptible he becomes to dental disease.
Signs Of Dental Disease
Foul breath. Bad breath can indicate dental disease. If your pet’s breath is noticeably bad, (aside from the regular dog/cat breath smell) you should get him checked.
Inflamed, red gums. Healthy gums are pink. Red, inflamed gums are a sign of gingivitis, which can lead to worsening dental issues.
Brown or yellow teeth. Plaque is a film that affects all dogs and cats. When plaque hardens it turns a different and becomes tartar. In a cat, tartar displays as yellow. In dogs it can turn brown or black.
Missing or loose teeth. Lost and loose teeth are definite indicators of dental disease. If an adult tooth hasn’t fallen because of trauma, your pet needs to see his doctor.
These signs and any combination of them should be addressed immediately. To help keep your pet healthy and happy, he should be in good dental health.
Preventing Dental Disease
Dogs and cats have different dental care needs. The earlier you introduce them to regular dental care, the easier it will be to continue to care for their teeth at home.
To prevent dental disease in dogs, you should brush his teeth regularly with toothpaste made specifically for dogs. Since dogs enjoy chewing, offer him a chew toy designed to improve dental health. There are several on the market, so if he doesn’t like one, try another until you find the one he likes. Also, visit your veterinarian for regular dental cleanings. Your vet can help prevent periodontitis which will help keep your dog healthy.
Cats need their teeth brushed too, and although it might be more challenging, it is necessary. Use a toothbrush designed for cats’ teeth and a pet toothpaste for regular brushing. Cats are not chewers like dogs, but dental treats formulated for cats are also available from your local pet store. Cats can be picky and finding the right treat might take some time.
Untreated dental disease can lead to tooth loss. Pets with periodontitis may require tooth extraction, and in severe cases, all the teeth may need to be removed. This is why dental care for your pets is important. Untreated dental disease can also lead to other health problems in pets because plaque and bacteria in the mouth is swallowed and is absorbed into the bloodstream resulting in arterial plaque and calcifications.
Your pet’s dental health is important to us at Festival Animal Clinic. We provide specialized dental care for your pet’s dental needs. If you are concerned about your pet’s dental health, and you are in the Centennial, Colorado area, don’t hesitate to call us today!