Dental Care!!! Why??

Why do Veterinarians stress preventive dental care? To keep your pet from experiencing pain. It has been estimated that approximately 80% of dogs and 60% of cats over 6 years of age have some degree of dental disease. This can range from a mild buildup of plaque to full blown periodontal disease. It is these full blown cases that cause your pet discomfort and can be very detrimental to their overall health.

Periodontal disease is a progressive disease starting with plaque buildup. Infection of the gums is the next level and usually is noted as a swelling and reddening of the gum line. As the plaque hardens and forms tarter the gum infection spreads and causes damage or death of the structures supporting the teeth, including the gums, tooth attachments and the jaw bones. The result of all this is pain, tooth loss, and possible spread of the infection to your pet's tonsils, heart, or kidneys.

How do we treat this disease?

Scaling and polishing of your pet's teeth, much like a dentist does for your teeth, is the best preventive measure. This removes the plaque and tarter from the teeth and is a necessary first step in providing care and relief for your pet. Other treatment may include use of antibiotics, extraction of loose or badly damaged teeth, and using surgery to remove infected gum tissue from pockets surrounding the teeth.

What should you do at home?

1. Check your pet's teeth for signs of tarter build up.

2. Look at the color of the gums where they meet the teeth. If they are unusually red this may be due to infection.

3. Check your pets breath. If their breath smells bad it may be due to gum infection.

4. Watch them eat. If they eat hard food like it bothers them, it is probably due to pain. By helping us monitor your pets dental health, you can help assure the best care for your pet. .