It may surprise many pet owners, but dental disease is one of the most common health conditions affecting dogs and cats. What’s more, dental disease is completely preventable by routine dental cleaning.
Usually, the first sign of dental disease in a dog or cat is bad breath, but, unfortunately, most pet owners miss the other signs that their pet has dental problems.
The health implications of dental disease for your pet isn’t just bad breath. If left untreated, dental disease can cause loss of teeth and it can even affect the internal organs.
How Serious is Dental Disease in Dogs?
Dental disease starts in dogs and cats much the same way that it starts in humans. Bacteria combines with food particles in the mouth and form plaque. This plaque then forms tartar and sticks to the teeth. This then allows bacteria to get into the gums.
If a dog or cat suffers from poor dental hygiene, the results can be inflammation of the gums and bleeding – called gingivitis. In time, the tissue supporting the teeth can weaken, causing teeth to become loose.
However, if left untreated the build up of bacteria in the mouth can find its way to the internal organs and cause serious damage to the heart, liver, or kidneys.
The only way to prevent dental disease in your pets is to have a routine of dental cleaning.
The Importance of Routine Dental Cleaning
Routine dental cleaning has to be carried out by your vet. This is because the dog has to be put under general anesthesia so that the vet can carry out the removal of the buildup of plaque and tartar and thoroughly check for other dental issues.
The vet can also repair or remove decayed or broken teeth and apply a dental sealer to prevent further problems.
Once this has been carried out, it is important that you regularly care for routine dental cleaning at home. For this, you can buy a child’s toothbrush and special toothpaste for your pet. Or, alternatively, you can buy special treats for your pet which will remove plaque and tartar when being chewed.
It is important never to forget about the dental health of your pet. With a program of routine dental cleaning, you can prevent dental disease and make sure that your pet is always able to chew on his treats.