Most pet owners don’t relish the thought of brushing their pets’ teeth, but neglecting dental health can cost both you and your furry loved one. Poor oral hygiene can lead to a wide variety of serious health consequences for your pet, and may even shorten his or her lifespan.
Keeping up with your home dental care, and making sure your pet gets a professional dental examination and cleaning as recommended by your veterinarian, can reduce bad breath and keep your pet healthy well into old age.
If you’re a newbie when it comes to pet dental health care, the team at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital is here to help!
The Missing Link
The vast majority of pets over the age of 3 have some form of dental disease. Dental disease, also known as periodontal or gum disease, is an infection of the soft tissues and supporting structures of the teeth caused by a buildup of bacteria along the gum line.
Besides being a source of significant pain and potential tooth loss for your pet, dental disease can trigger a host of systemic problems if left untreated. Bacteria from the mouth can move into the bloodstream where it travels throughout the body and can damage vital organs, such as the kidneys, liver, and heart.
Having a healthy mouth will not only make your pet feel better and keep him or her healthy, it can also extend your pet’s lifespan by up to two years.
Pet Dental Health at Home
Brushing your pet’s teeth daily (or at least a few times per week) is the foundation of your pet’s oral hygiene. It can take some time and commitment, but even a skittish pet can become accustomed to this important hygiene habit. Your veterinarian will be happy go over the basics with you.
Once per week, lift your pet’s lips and inspect his or her teeth and gums. Bring your pet in to see us if you notice any of the following signs of dental disease:
- Bad breath
- Change in eating habits
- Obvious tartar buildup
- Red or swollen gums
- Bleeding or loose teeth
- Excessive drooling
- Swelling of the muzzle
- Pain when touching the mouth
Open Up and Say “Ahhh”!
Keeping up with your pet’s regularly scheduled wellness exams is the key to his or her continuing oral health. By examining your pet’s mouth at each visit, your veterinarian will be able to spot any potential issues early and make recommendations as to proper home and follow-up care.
Your Pet’s Dental Health Begins with You
The field of veterinary dentistry has come a long way in recent years, and there’s no reason why you and your pet shouldn’t reap the benefits. Questions about committing to a good home routine and professional dental care? Don’t hesitate to give us a call!