Dental Care for Pets
Just as humans have dental and oral health needs, pets do as well. Pet dental care involves a lot more than fresh breath. Dogs and cats have the potential of damaging their teeth and gums with long-term risks of gaining problems with their internal organs. Your animal can develop periodontal disease, which involves inflammation of the gums and loss of bone and soft tissue around their teeth. Animal research studies have found that periodontal disease is linked to a variety of health problems like diabetes, liver, kidney, and heart disease.
Most pet owners are unaware of the oral health risks their pets can obtain. Some of the symptoms that come with oral illness include:
- Tooth discoloration
- Weight loss
- Bleeding gums
- Change in eating behavior
- Change in temperament
Periodontal disease starts when bacteria particles form in the animal’s mouth, creating plaque that sticks to the surface of their teeth. If not well-cared for, plaque and tartar spread under the animal’s gum line and conceal toxins that eventually contribute to tissue damage. The bacteria can stimulate the animal’s immune system, effecting change in their white blood cells and inflammatory system.
Treatment is an option for animals suffering with periodontal disease. Professional dental cleaning with a thorough oral examination and evaluation of the patient’s teeth is one of the main options pet owners choose for their animals. Prevention for oral illness consists of regularly brushing your pet’s teeth in addition to feeding them healthy and nutritious foods. It is best to consult with your veterinarian about the importance of oral hygiene for pets, especially while they are young as puppies and/or kittens. The sooner you train your pet on getting their teeth cleaned, the better their overall health will be in the future.