The Tooth About Dentals

Photo courtesy of Megan VanParis

Sometimes there is a misconception about dentals for pets and why they are necessary. Dental procedures just work a little differently for our furry family members than they do for us.

Most of us brush our teeth twice a day. Can you remember the last time you brushed your pet’s teeth? Gum disease is the most common disease among cats and dogs, and 80 percent of pups over three years of age have it.

Many owners can tell their pet needs a dental based on their bad breath. Here are some other symptoms to look out for:

  • Discomfort or pain when chewing
  • Reluctant to eat
  • Excessive drooling or saliva
  • Bloody gums
  • Tartar – usually brown or yellow build up on teeth
  • Loose, broken or missing teeth

Periodontal disease is the most common dental condition for pets. Periodontal disease starts with plaque that hardens and turns into tartar. If not taken care of, periodontal disease can cause heart, liver and kidney issues. During every physical exam your pet has with their veterinarian, the doctor will perform an oral exam and may recommend a dental procedure based on their findings. This may be just a routine cleaning and polishing, or it may involve some teeth needing to be extracted.

Here are tome tips on how to keep your furry family member’s teeth pearly and white!

  • Brush their teeth – Ideally you should brush your teeth every day, but even by doing it a couple times per week this can improve their oral health!
  • Consider dental treats – There are treats specifically designed to help your pet’s teeth such as OraVet Chews, Veggie Dents and Greenies.
  • Perform routine inspections – Occasionally inspect your pet’s mouth and look for plaque buildup or anything that looks unusual. Also make sure your pet is not reluctant to eat or having any difficulty eating.

For more information on what exactly happens when your pet comes in for a dental procedure, click here.

Written for Blum Animal Hospital by Jackie Sheppard.