Pet Dental Care
Dental disease is the most common medical problem seen among dogs and cats.
People understand the importance of dental care and routinely have their teeth cleaned. With our pets, dental care is a less common practice. Studies by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) reveal that nearly two-thirds of pet owners do not provide the dental care recommended by veterinarians.
Prescott Animal Hospital is striving to educate our community on the importance of pet dental care.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease (dental disease) is the destruction of bone, gum tissue and structures that hold the teeth in place. This disease is caused by bacterial infection that spreads underneath the gum line. Significant damage is already done by the time there are obvious signs of periodontal disease, such as bad breath, painful and loose teeth. Dogs and cats in the advanced stages of periodontal disease often require oral surgery to extract many teeth. This disease can also affect the overall health of your pet, including heart, liver and kidneys.
Signs of Pet Dental Disease
- Bad breath*
- Discomfort or pain while chewing
- Decreased appetite
- Pawing at the mouth
- Visible plaque build up on the teeth
- Red and swollen gums
- Bleeding from the gums
- Loose or missing teeth
If you notice any of these signs, it is important to have your pet examined by a veterinarian. Dental disease can affect the overall health of your pet and is not something that should be addressed as soon as possible.
*Oh, he just has "dog breath."
It is a common misconception for bad breath to be chalked up to just “dog breath.” Bad breath is a sign of infection and disease. Periodontal disease hides under the gum line and is not visible until severe damage has occurred. This disease can also affect the overall health of your pet, including heart, liver and kidneys. If your pet has bad breath, it is a sign that you should bring your pet in for an examination and dental cleaning.
Sometimes it is possible to think our pet has bad breath, but the odor could be coming from something other than the mouth. Odors can come from the skin, ears, digestive tract and more. This is another reason why it is important for a complete examination with a veterinarian prior to a dental cleaning.
You may have heard about anesthesia free dental cleanings and while it seems like a good idea, a thorough dental cleaning for your pet requires general anesthesia.