Imagine what your mouth would feel like if you never brushed your teeth or went to the dentist. For many pets, this is a painful reality. Unless your pet just ate something fishy, stinky breath isn't normal. Having a veterinarian evaluate your pet's teeth regularly and clean them as needed will help prevent dental disease and any related problems.
Why is dental health important?
Dental health is just as important for dogs and cats as it is for people. Bacteria and food debris accumulate around the teeth and, if left unchecked, will lead to the deterioration of the soft tissue and bones surrounding the teeth. This decay can result in irreversible periodontal disease, tooth loss, and expensive oral surgery. Bacteria can also cause serious, potentially fatal infections in your pet's kidneys, liver, lungs, and heart.
What are the signs of dental disease?
More than 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have dental disease by the age of 3. Dental (or periodontal) disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem in pets. Common signs of dental disease include:
- Yellow or brown buildup (tartar) on the teeth
- Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
- Bad breath and excessive drooling
- Loose teeth
- Changes in eating or chewing habits
- Behavioural changes
How often should my pet have a dental checkup?
Even if your pet doesn't have any of the symptoms above, we recommend dental health appointments at least once a year. If dental problems aren't caught and treated quickly enough, they can be life-threatening. A physical exam combined with appropriate laboratory work can determine if the infection in the mouth has spread. At your pet's dental checkup, we can also show you how to brush your pet's teeth and recommend foods and treats that will help combat plaque and tartar buildup. To book their next appointment, please contact us at 519-941-2275.