The oral health of your pet

The oral health of your pet

In this day and age, we have more tools and research than ever before to impact the health of our pets.  There is more evidence every day showing the link between good oral health and overall health.  Many pet owners do not realize the single best care they can give to their pet is good oral hygiene.  A dental cleaning can significantly lengthen the pet’s life span.

Plaque buildup on the pet’s teeth is the first step in a decline of your pet’s teeth.  Bacteria is carried in the plaque that irritates the gums which in turn goes into the bloodstream from the gum.  This is when vital organs can be damaged from the bacteria that has not been dealt with.

Just think what happens when you don’t take care of your teeth…dental bills from having cavities taken care of or worse: loss of teeth.  The same is true for your pet.

Good dental care for your pet includes:

  • Brushing teeth!  I personally use a wet washcloth and a pet approved toothpaste.  Both my large and small dog do better with this approach.  This allow me more access than with a brush and neither feels as if they are being choked.
  • Part of your yearly exam with us should be checking teeth.  But remember how hard this is for you as the owner whom your dog is very familiar with.  Cut Dr. Flanders some slack if he can’t get the best check.  There is a good reason we use sedation to clean teeth!
  • Some breeds of dogs are more susceptible to dental problems, ask us if yours is a breed to watch closer.
  • There are dental chews, wipes and liquids to add to water to help keep tarter at a minimum.

Signs of oral disease:

  • Bad Breath
  • Bleeding gums
  • Yellow-brown crust on teeth
  • Tooth loss
  • Abnormal drooling
  • Change in chewing or eating habits.

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