Bright Smiles – Dental Health for Pets

Photo courtesy of Hadley Parritz.

During annual exams, the veterinarians check pets’ mouths to determine their oral health and dental condition. Based on this assessment, dental recommendations will be discussed, which can range from daily tooth brushing at home to a dental cleaning at Blum.

The best thing to help keep your pet’s mouth clean and healthy is to brush their teeth daily, or as many times per week as possible. This helps to remove dental plaque and tartar that can form on the teeth and reduce or eliminate the need for a dental cleaning. For more information on how to brush your pet’s teeth, click here.

Despite our best efforts, your veterinarian may still recommend a dental cleaning for your furry family member. The most common reason for this is due to periodontal disease – by the time your pet is 3 years old, they will most likely have some evidence of this, which will only worsen if preventive measures aren’t performed. Periodontal disease does not just affect your pet’s oral health; it also can cause other health problems with their organs, including their heart, liver, and kidneys.

Just like with humans, periodontal disease starts when plaque forms on the teeth as a result of natural bacteria that is in our pet’s mouths. When plaque hardens, it turns into tartar, which becomes firmly attached to the teeth. While it may be easy to see the tartar above the gum line, where it really starts to affect your pet’s health is where you can’t see it. When the plaque and tartar advance below the gum line, it can begin to damage the tissues surrounding your pet’s teeth, where if untreated can result in a tooth or teeth needing to be extracted. Periodontal disease can be treated through routine teeth brushing and thorough dental cleanings by your veterinarian.

If you have any further questions about your pet’s oral health, please contact us at: (773) 327-4446. We want to make sure all your furry family members have nice, bright smiles!

Written for Blum Animal Hospital by Jackie Sheppard.