Pet teeth aren’t generally considered for preventive treatment. However, their teeth are just like ours and must be taken care of to prevent them from becoming unhealthy. Like people, with adequate care, they can experience dental problems; however, they’re not as severe or as extensive.

A pet’s dental health is often disregarded, but it poses a severe risk to their quality of life. Since dental issues typically show no visible signs and are usually only detected during exams designed to detect other health issues. Your doctor might suggest a dental cleansing plan, a routine for oral hygiene, or specialized therapy.

Facts on Dental Care for Pets

Although most of us go to the dentist at least every six months to get a prophylactic cleaning and checkup, many pet owners believe falsehoods about the importance of having their pets regularly dental examinations. Here is a listing of vital facts regarding dental health care for pets.

1. Pets will continue to eat, even when they are in pain.

Veterinarians are often shocked at the extent of harm they find in animals’ mouths, especially in cases where no symptoms related to loss of appetite, significant inflammation, tooth damage, growths, or teeth decay have been identified. Pets may show signs like vomiting up food, eating more slowly and pawing their mouths, swelling in the mouth or facial area, an unpleasant odor or discharge from the mouth and minor gum bleeding when eating or after meals. However, a lack of motivation to eat is a highly unusual sign.

2. Foul breath is not normal.

But, even if pets’ breath isn’t beautiful, it shouldn’t be like it does. If they’ve recently eaten, they will have some odors of food. The aroma shouldn’t be too bad, though. This could indicate a bacterial infection beneath the gum line. Abscessed teeth or any other major oral problem could be the reason. In rare instances, breathing problems can indicate a health issue in other body parts. In all cases, an exam is needed.

3. Annual anesthetized cleaning and radiograph are a must.

Many people floss their mouths daily and should brush at least every day. However, we require professional dental cleanings at least once per year. And problems could still be discovered. Think about the fact that most pets in our care have not had their teeth cleaned. They don’t usually have cavities like people, but they often get periodontitis, which affects the tooth and its roots. Anesthesia-assisted cleanings every year eliminate tartar buildup below the gum line, and radiographs show problems with the roots and bone when they are first noticed.

Dental examinations should always be part of your annual checkups for your pet to prevent diseases from developing or preventing further complications if disease is already present. 

4. Dental problems can affect general health.

Dental diseases can trigger germs to enter the bloodstream through the gum tissue and spread to other internal organs (liver, kidneys, and heart). This is possible in the case that gum tissue is infected with bacteria. The inflammation that occurs in the mouth can lead to the recurrence of diseases elsewhere within the body. Oral and dental illness treatment is linked to better treatment of various conditions, such as diabetes.

So if you have gum and teeth problems with pets, bring your pet to your trusted veterinary dentist for a comprehensive dental examination. 

5. Preventative health at home is crucial.

The removal of plaque can happen through brushing your teeth, provided that it’s done within the first 24 hours after eating. Brushing teeth can be difficult, but pet owners can always bring their animals to a veterinarian for a free demonstration and assistance with brushing them. Dental treats offered daily are the 2nd most effective way to provide care at home for pets. There are even diets that are specifically created to benefit the teeth. Also helpful are goodies that require chewing, such as chewy dog biscuits and thin rawhide chews.

It is important to provide your senior pet with routine preventative care and early diagnosis as they age so that they can enjoy a high quality of life. You can see here to learn more about geriatric veterinary care and why is it necessary.