Although many pet parents don’t realize it, dogs and cats need dental care just like we do. Imagine what it would be like if you never brushed, flossed, or visited the dentist. That’s the unfortunate reality for most pets. Going without dental care, however, means more than just a yucky mouth; not caring for your pet’s teeth can lead to several health problems.
Periodontal Disease and Your Pet
Periodontal disease (gum disease) develops when plaque and tartar accumulate on the surface of a pet’s teeth. This irritates the gums, leading to gingivitis. Left untreated, tartar continues to build up, creating pockets of space between the teeth and gums where bacteria thrive. What was once gingivitis develops into a bacterial infection called periodontal disease. If allowed to progress, periodontal disease can lead to the deterioration of the periodontal ligaments and the jawbone. Additionally, the bacteria from periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream, damaging organs throughout the body, hindering their function. Most sadly, this can significantly shorten a pet’s lifespan.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Unfortunately, periodontal disease is a problem that most pets face. An estimated 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have developed some form of periodontal disease by age three.
Caring for Your Pet's Teeth at Home
At home, you can promote good oral health by starting a teeth-brushing routine with your cat or dog. Be sure to use a toothbrush designed for your species and size of pet and specially formulated toothpaste. We also recommend providing pets with dental-friendly chew toys and treats.
Pet Dental Cleanings and Exams in Mobile, AL
Ideally, pets should receive a combination of professional and at-home dental care. We strongly encourage you to schedule a dental exam for your cat or dog at Wesson Animal Clinic. We’ll scale and polish your pet’s teeth and perform a thorough examination to ensure we catch any developing problems early. We also encourage you to talk with one of our veterinarians about recommendations for caring for your pet’s teeth at home.