Dental disease is one of the most recurring diseases impacting animals, with a reported prevalence of at least 80% in canines over three years of age and as many as 90% in cats over four. In honor of Pet Dental Month, Mount Carmel Animal Hospital wants to share more information regarding dental disease in pets.
Signs & Symptoms
Don’t turn your nose to your pet’s dental problems! Dental health is vital for your pet’s overall health. Monitor the following signs in your dog or cat:
- In dogs and cats, halitosis (bad breath) is mainly caused by plaque and tartar build-up. As plaque ages and gingivitis becomes periodontitis, the good bacteria become destructive bacteria, giving your pet the bad breath you notice.
- Dental disease and oral pain might trigger some animals’ finicky appetites. Many dogs and cats have trouble chewing and prefer moist or canned foods. Some pets will only chew on one side of their mouth if they are experiencing dental pain.
- Even though saliva assists pets by protecting their teeth, excessive drooling can still occur when their gums become inflamed and infected due to dental problems.
- Bleeding gums also indicate dental disease, causing discomfort and leading to problems such as weight loss.
Treatment for dental disease depends on the severity of the disease. A professional dental cleaning is advisable if your pet has mild plaque and tartar. This will reverse the condition. However, the process is irreversible if there has been a loss of supporting structures of the teeth. In these cases, your veterinarian might need to extract the diseased teeth. We always perform dental radiographs to assess the health of every tooth both above and below the gumline. This allows the veterinarian to evaluate the health of the entire tooth, which in turn makes it so they can decide if a tooth is healthy enough to remain or requires extraction.
Thankfully, dental disease is an almost preventable disease. Daily tooth brushing at home is the absolute way to keep tartar and plaque at bay in between cleanings. Additionally, as part of our yearly wellness exams, the Mount Carmel Animal Hospital veterinarians will examine your pet’s teeth to check dental health. We also offer products for at-home dental care, including dental chews and toothpaste to promote dental health. Please call us at (410) 343-0200 for product recommendations.
HERE AT MOUNT CARMEL ANIMAL HOSPITAL, WE’LL TREAT YOUR PETS LIKE FAMILY!
Mount Carmel Animal Hospital has been serving the Northern Baltimore/Southern York community for over 30 years and is proud to be an independently operated, small animal practice committed to excellence in veterinary medicine and client service. From grooming to wellness services, along with Canine Life Skills Training Courses, and surgical procedures, we have the expertise that will best serve the needs of you and your pet. Contact us at 410-343-0200 and follow us on Facebook!