Dental hygiene is an important part of your pet’s health. It is a common myth that “dog breath” is just a harmless inconvenience, when, in fact, it is a sign of an unhealthy mouth. Bad breath is caused by bacteria. Over time, bacteria will lead to plaque buildup on your pet’s teeth. This plaque will then turn into a hardened substance called calculus. The result of the bacterial build up starts out as bad breath, reddened gums (gingivitis – inflammation of the gums), but can quickly progress to more serious dental issues. As dental disease progresses, signs include, but are not limited to, pain and discomfort, difficulty chewing, excessive drooling, loose or missing teeth, and attempting to swallow food whole.
Dental disease affects not only your pet’s oral health, but also organ functions and ultimate life expectancy. It is a well documented fact that bacteria and infection from your pet’s mouth end up in organ systems as the dental disease progresses. When your pet swallows, eats a meal, or drinks, bacteria are able to gain access to the body and can negatively affect the health of the kidneys, heart, liver, brain and lungs.
How do you know if your pet has a healthy mouth? Let us examine your pet’s teeth and gums to help determine if there are any dental issues you should know about. After a brief visual examination, we may recommend more detailed examination (which requires sedation), a dental cleaning, or options for at-home dental care.
Even if you think your pet’s teeth and gums are fine, we can offer expert advice to help you keep them that way! Dental health should not be taken for granted. Fortunately, many dental problems can be managed through at-home care and by bringing your pet to us for regular dental checkups and teeth cleanings.