Why Pet Dental Treatment is Important to Your Pet's Health
Pets need regular dental examinations and cleanings to prevent the oral disease from impacting teeth and gum health. Your Baltimore veterinarian recommends having your pet's teeth checked at least once a year to ensure gingivitis, cavities or tooth decay haven't developed in your pet's mouth. Veterinary dental procedures and digital imaging techniques provided by our animal care clinic provide pets with high quality, preventative care that not only keeps their teeth and gums healthy but also decreases their risk of suffering unnecessary oral pain or pet dental treatment in the future.
Periodontitis in Pets
A serious oral disease involving tooth loss, gingivitis and dental pulp infections in pets, periodontitis occurs when layers of bacterial plaque accumulate on an animal's teeth and are not removed by veterinary teeth cleaning. Signs of periodontitis include:
- Loose/lost teeth
- Deep, yellow stains on teeth at the gum line
- Extremely bad breath
- Bleeding, swollen gums
- Saliva/drool containing blood
Neglecting to treat teeth and gum disease may interfere with your pet's ability to chew food properly, especially if back teeth are loose and causing pain. In addition, severe abscesses or infections can produce noticeable swelling in and around your pet's mouth. Pets with periodontitis may also paw at their mouth, shake their head constantly or rub their mouth against the floor if the oral disease is causing discomfort.
Why Do Pets Experience Teeth and Gum Disease?
To help reduce the risk of periodontitis in pets, your veterinarian in Baltimore advises pet owners to:
- Provide cats with raw meat instead of a steady diet of canned cat food
- Give dogs canine dental chews especially made to remove tartar
- Avoid giving dogs and cats "people" food
- Monitor your pet's chewing habits. Overly rigorous chewing on hard items may cause dental fractures or bleeding gums
- Clean your pet's teeth every other day with a pet dental wipe or toothbrush moistened with animal-friendly toothpaste
- Get your pet's teeth professionally cleaned by your Baltimore vet at least once a year. Older pets may need bi-annual dental cleanings.