A husky holding a toothbrushPet dental health is so vital to overall wellness that it actually gets an entire month dedicated to it. Yes, February marks National Pet Dental Health Month, a fact we couldn’t be happier about!

While many pet owners simply shrug off stinky dog or cat breath as a part of life, we can assure you that it’s actually a red flag that something is amiss in the mouth. If left alone, a variety of problems could develop, threatening your pet’s health.

It’s All Connected

Pet dental health is a force to be reckoned with, but it’s easy to take for granted. To some, it makes little sense to brush the teeth of a cat or dog if there isn’t a diagnosable problem, but without daily or weekly upkeep, the mouth can become filled with bacteria, decay, and inflammation.

Pet dental care prevents issues inside the mouth and, as a result, can protect the health of the heart, liver, and kidneys. The same oral bacteria that causes problems in the mouth can enter the bloodstream, affecting other major organs as well.

Starting Small

When you brush your pet’s teeth, you’re effectively washing away oral bacteria and plaque. Otherwise, plaque can harden into tartar (calculus) over time. Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease, with symptoms of reddened gums or bad breath commonly present.

When tartar gets a hold of a tooth, it will eventually create a pocket between the tooth and the surrounding gum tissue. Once bacteria gets into the pocket, dangerous infections can lead to pain, tooth loss, or breakage.

Stages 2 and 3 of periodontal disease have noticeable support loss of up to 25-50%. This means the gum tissue and bone structure in and around the teeth are permanently gone. The fourth stage of the disease typically results in surgical extraction.

Don’t Fear, Pet Dental Health Care is Here!

The good news is that periodontal disease is preventable! Regular wellness exams allow us an opportunity to check inside the mouth and assess overall teeth and gum health. However, because most of the damage occurs beneath the gum line, it’s important to conduct a professional exam and cleaning, as well as process full mouth x-rays.

To ensure the safety and efficacy of this process, pets are anesthetized and fully monitored during all pet dental health procedures.

Make a Positive Impact

Although pet dental health may seem like a lot of time and money upfront, preventing periodontal disease will actually save you money in the long run. Plus, it protects your pet from unnecessary pain and discomfort related to the following symptoms:

  • Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
  • Trouble chewing or picking up food
  • Inappetence
  • Lethargy
  • Withdrawal
  • Discolored, broken, or missing teeth
  • Foul breath
  • Excessive drooling

We hope to raise awareness for Pet Dental Health Month by helping pets in need and by celebrating this important cause with our valued clients. As always, please contact us with any questions or concerns.