Dental care is very important for your pet’s health. Dental disease is very prevalent, being present in more than 80% of pets over the age of 3. Not only causing your pet’s breath to be bad, it has been shown to be a contributor to other deadly diseases such as heart disease, liver disease and kidney failure.
As plaque and tartar form in the mouth the gums and soft tissue support of the teeth become infected and inflamed. This is termed gingivitis. If this is allowed to continue, the supporting tissues become diseased and start to recede. This allows food debris and bacteria to gain a foothold underneath the gingiva. Tooth root problems then occur and root abscesses form which are painful. Some pets may even stop eating due to discomfort. Once the roots of the teeth are infected and damaged it is difficult to save the tooth. Most of these problems are preventable with proper care.
Another common problem in dogs and cats are retained deciduous teeth which means baby teeth that haven’t fallen out. Puppies and kittens have immature teeth that fall out and are replaced with adult teeth,just like us. Occasionally, especially in small breed dogs these teeth don’t fall out and the adult tooth grows in next to it. The retained teeth can damage the adult teeth and provide crevasses that food material and debris get stuck in. This debris is the perfect place for plaque causing bacteria to grow.
Your pet’s teeth should be examined at the minimum yearly. Every 6 months would be better. Every time your pet is examined at Bell Veterinary Clinic, the doctor will examine your pet’s teeth. Oral health is an important part of overall health.
You can quickly examine your pet’s teeth at home. Just carefully pull up the lips and look for yellow or brown tartar, redness or swelling of the gums, loose or extra teeth and smell for bad or foul odors. If you see any of these things, call Bell Veterinary Clinic at 810 678 3938 and they will be happy to schedule your pet for a dental exam.
At Bell Veterinary Clinic, we take dental care seriously. If your pet needs dental work, we can schedule a thorough exam and cleaning. We often recommend prophylactic antibiotics when cleaning the teeth. We will also often make recommendations regarding home care for your pet’s teeth.