February is Pet Dental Health Month! While all year long we focus on your furry friends’ overall health, we like to focus this time of year on one of the things that often gets overlooked by pet parents; your pet’s dental health.
Doctors at Purdue University have determined a correlation between gum disease and heart disease. This may result in congestive heart failure and endocarditis. According to the AVMA, by the time a pet has reached 3 years old, they are likely to have some evidence of periodontal disease.
So, as pet parents, what can we look for to recognize problems with your pet’s dental health?
Some of these signs may be more recognizable and common than you think:
- bad breath
- discolored teeth or teeth covered in tartar
- broken or loose teeth
- drooling, abnormal chewing, or dropping of food
- pain in, or around the mouth
- extra teeth or baby teeth that never fell out
- swelling in or around the face and mouth
What can be done to prevent or correct dental disease?
Dentistry consists of cleaning, adjustment, filing, extractions, or repairs of the teeth. This should only be performed by a veterinarian, board certified veterinary dentist, or a veterinary technician.
An oral exam should be performed to evaluate the state of your pet’s dental health. The exam may include x-rays of the tooth roots and jaw. Cleaning of the teeth is very similar to the cleaning that you undergo in your dentist’s office. It begins with scaling the tartar off of all teeth. The tooth’s surfaces are polished to remove etching left by scaling. Most dental disease occurs below the gum line. Anesthesia is necessary to ensure dental procedures are as stress free and painless as possible for your pet. Unhealthy teeth may cause potentially serious problems for your pet in the future. If your pet has loose or abscessed teeth, the doctor will be able to easily evaluate and extract them.
What about anesthesia-free dental cleanings?
The American veterinary College does not recommend dental cleanings without anesthesia. They do not allow for cleaning or inspection below the gum line, where most dental disease occurs. Cleaning without anesthesia can result in injury to the pet or person performing the procedure.
20% OFF all dental cleanings during the month of February!!!
Please call Bullard-Marks Vet Med Center at (559) 432-0887 for an appointment