Surprisingly, dental or periodontal disease is present, at some degree, in 85 percent of adult pets. It is the most common disease in both adult cats and dogs.
Plaque, a transparent adhesive fluid composed of saliva, food particles, and bacteria, is the beginning of dental disease. It attaches to the teeth at the gum line. If there is not routine brushing to remove the plaque, it will become dental calculus or tartar. Once the tartar is present, the gums become inflamed and bacterial organisms grow and produce more severe inflammation, gingivitis. Because of the inflammation and swelling of the gum tissue, the bacteria can be trapped below the gum line. The bacterium then damages the attachment to the teeth and leads to destruction of bone or peritonitis, and the loss of teeth. In addition to destroying the gums and teeth, the infection can be directly absorbed into the blood stream and can then affect the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and spine.
Knowing the signs of dental disease, allows you to identify and treat early. Bad breath, or halitosis, is often a sign of some dental disease. Other signs can include difficulty chewing hard food, pawing at the mouth, or finicky behavior. If you notice any of these signs, a routine check here at the clinic can determine if a dental cleaning under anesthesia is necessary. Sometime there are no signs of dental disease, so routine checks and dental care at home, such as brushing regularly with pet safe toothpaste and giving dental treats can act as a preventative.
You can see how knowing the in and outs of dental care can make you and your pets' lives much more happy and healthy. You can schedule an appointment with the Doctor to see how your pet's dental health is and what you need to do to improve it, or how you can continue to maintain it. We do have special toothbrush and toothpaste kits, as well as, dental food and dental treats available here at the clinic to keep your pets smile bright and clean.