Want to learn an easy way to help fight your dog or cat’s bad breath? In addition to freshening up your pet’s mouth, brushing his or her teeth can actually help prevent gum disease, pain, tooth loss, and even heart and kidney disease. Many pet owners worry about how well their animals will tolerate tooth brushing, but maintaining your pet’s dental health doesn’t have to be difficult or unpleasant. Try using flavored, pet specific toothpaste to help make tooth brushing a treat for your dog or cat, but never use your own toothpaste. Some common ingredients in human toothpaste, like fluoride and xylitol, can be deadly to pets even in small amounts. Check out the link below for photos and a step-by-step guide on brushing your pet’s pearly whites!
Imagine what would happen to your mouth if you didn’t brush your teeth or visit the dentist for 10 years. Do terrible breath, sore gums, and painful, damaged teeth come to mind? Unfortunately for our dogs and cats, the harmful consequences of inadequate dental hygiene are similar to those suffered by humans. While some wear and tear on your pet’s teeth will occur naturally with age, periodontal disease is the real culprit in declining oral health and is often invisible because much of it occurs below the gum line. If periodontal disease remains untreated, it can cause problems beyond an unhealthy mouth. The spread of dental-disease-causing bacteria from the mouth can give rise to potentially damaging infections in other areas of the body, including organ tissues. In order to effectively address periodontal disease, a pet should receive a thorough mouth evaluation and cleaning under general anesthesia, at which time the extractions of any damaged or diseased teeth can be safely performed. Attempting a dental procedure without the use of anesthesia does not allow for a thorough exam or for cleaning below the gum line where most problems occur. It also increases your pet’s stress level, as well as the risk of accidental injury to the patient and the veterinary staff. In order to help lower your pet’s risk of periodontal disease, visit your veterinarian regularly for evaluations of your dog or cat’s oral health. Check back soon for more information as we raise awareness during February for National Pet Dental Health Month!