Dogs and cats need pet teeth cleaning to keep them healthy both inside of the mouth and in other areas that contribute to the total overall health of your pet. Your veternarian will check inside your pet’s mouth on his or her annual exam. However, a pet dentist at your animal hospital will take x-rays to evaluate any beginning problems below the gum line to better access your pet’s dental condition and keep him or her healthy.
Dog and Cat Oral Health
According to VetStreet, “Eighty-five percent of all pets have periodontal disease by the time they are 3 years of age.” This is why it is so important to have dental exams starting at about the age of 2 years old. Periodontal disease is a progressive disease of the tissue around the teeth and it can cause early tooth loss in your pet. Bacteria combines with food particles and then minerals from saliva to form a hard substance of plaque on your pet’s teeth. The bacteria works itself under the gums and causes gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gums. The bacteria then destroys tissue around the teeth and causes tooth loss. If this dental disease is not corrected, it can travel through the bloodstream, infect the kidneys and heart, and possibly cause organ failure of the kidneys or heart in your pet.
Signs That You Need a Pet Dentist
Your pet should see your veterinarian at your pet hospital sooner than one year if you notice any signs of dental issues including broken or loose teeth, retained baby teeth, bad breath, teeth covered with a hard discolored substance, excessive chewing, drooling or dropping food when eating, pain or swelling in the region of the mouth, decreased appetite or mouth bleeding. Each of these problems point to some sort of dental disease in your pet. The American Veterinary Medical Association suggests that you take your pet to a dentist if they have changes in behavior and act irritable. This is often how they display the pain of dental problems.
Pet Teeth Cleaning
When you take your pet to have his or her teeth cleaned, they will be put under anesthesia. Our pets do not understand that they must remain still to have a thorough teeth examination and cleaning as humans do. The anesthesia keeps them still and quiet so your pet dentist can expertly clean their teeth after taking x-rays, where your dog or cat needs to remain still for them to display under the gum health issues. After your pet wakes up from anesthesia, he or she will be very groggy and will likely spend the night at your vet’s office for safety so that he or she doesn’t injure himself or herself by falling.
Pet Parents Role in Teeth Cleaning
There are several things that you as a pet parent can do to help your dog or cat have great oral health. Pet toothpaste and a pet toothbrush is a great way to start. Vet’s recommend brushing your pet’s teeth once a day. The toothpaste’s are flavored and most pets love the taste of chicken. Dental chews are available for pets to clean their teeth while they enjoy them. Dental chews usually have a nice scent and can alleviate bad breath at the same time. WebMD recommends checking dental chew packaging for the statement “Approved by The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC)” This organization evaluates pet products to make certain they meet certain standards for reduction of tartar or plaque for good oral pet health. Taking care of your pet’s teeth is as important as pet grooming, dog grooming or cat grooming to keep their pearly whites clean and healthy.