Pet teeth aren’t usually considered for preventive care. But their teeth are like ours; they must be taken care of to keep them from getting sick. Just like people, even with adequate care, they may have tooth problems, just not as severe or extensive.
A pet’s dental health is often disregarded, but it poses a severe risk to their quality of life. Since dental illness frequently has no overt symptoms, it is typically only discovered during checkups meant to detect other health issues. Depending on the exam results, your vet may suggest a dental cleaning plan, oral care routine, or specialized therapy.
Facts on Dental Care for Pets
Even though most of us visit the dentist at least once every six months for a prophylactic cleaning and checkup, many pet owners still believe falsehoods about the importance of giving their pets frequent dental checkups. The following is a list of essential facts concerning dental care for pets.
1. Pets continue to eat even when in pain.
Veterinarians are often taken aback by the extent of damage they uncover in animals’ mouths, especially when no symptoms, such as loss of appetite, significant inflammation, tooth damage, root decay, or tumors, have been reported. Pets may show signs such as spitting out food, eating more slowly, pawing at the mouth, swelling in the mouth or face, a foul odor or discharge from the mouth, and minor gum bleeding during or after meals. But a lack of effort to eat is a highly unusual sign.
2. Foul breath is not normal.
However, even if our pets’ breath isn’t particularly nice, it shouldn’t smell so bad. If they have recently eaten, there will be a distinct odor of food. The aroma shouldn’t be too bad, though. This suggests bacterial colonization below the gum line. Abscessed roots or any major oral issue might be the cause. In extremely rare cases, poor breath can signal a health issue in other body parts. In any case, an exam is needed.
3. Yearly anesthetized cleaning and radiographs are a must.
Many people floss their teeth daily and brush at least twice daily. Still, we need professional cleanings once a year, and problems can still be found. Consider that most of the animals in our care have never had their teeth brushed. Dogs and cats rarely have cavities like people, but they often get periodontitis, an infection around the teeth and roots. Anesthesia-assisted cleanings done by a dog dentist once a year eliminate tartar buildup below the gum line, and radiographs reveal issues with the bone and roots at their earliest.
4. Dental disease can affect overall health.
Dental disease can cause germs to enter the bloodstream through the gum tissue and travel to other body regions, such as the kidney, liver, and heart valves. This can occur when the gum tissue is infected with bacteria. The inflammation in the mouth could also worsen diseases elsewhere in the body. Dental and oral illness treatment has been linked to improved management of conditions, including diabetes.
A comprehensive cat or dog checkup done annually is also crucial to check your pet’s overall health.
5. Home preventative care is essential.
Plaque can be eliminated by brushing the teeth, provided this is done within the first 24 hours after eating. Brushing can be challenging, but pet owners always have the option of bringing their animals to the veterinarian for a free demonstration and assistance in brushing animals. Dental treats given daily are the second most effective home care for pets. There are even diets that are specifically designed to be beneficial to the teeth. Also helpful are goodies that require chewing, such as dog biscuits and thin rawhide chews.
Dental health is a vital part of the overall health of our senior pets. A veterinary geriatric comprehensive care is essential to ensure your pet is receiving the best care possible. Why not click here to learn more about geriatric care for pets.