For most of us, caring for our teeth and gums has been part of our daily routine for as long as we can remember. Just like you, your pet needs dental care, too – regular, professional care from your veterinarian and effective daily home care from you to keep your pet's mouth healthy.
The main cause of periodontal disease is plaque, which is a colorless film that contains large amounts of bacteria. If left unchecked, plaque builds up, creating infection, destroying gums and resulting in the loss of the tissues and bone that support the teeth.
The signs of periodontal disease are bad breath, yellow-brown crust on teeth, bleeding gums, change of chewing or eating habits, tooth loss, change in behavior, or abnormal drooling. Periodontal disease is the most common disease among dogs it affects more than 8 out of 10 dogs over 3 years of age according to the American Animal Hospital Association.
Steps to better oral care for your pet
- Visit your veterinarian - Every regular exam in our clinic includes a through dental exam. If we find signs of disease, we will recommend a treatment plan. It is important for the overall health of your pet that we take care of any dental problems we find. We will also recommend a home care plan that is a key part of keeping your pet healthy.
- Start an oral care routine at home - Plaque should be removed from your pet's teeth every day before it is mineralized into tartar. Brushing your pet's teeth or feeding a dental food each day will control plaque build-up. Be sure the dental food you use offers total balanced nutrition for whole health. Ask us about the best methods of home care for your pet.
- Schedule regular dental check-ups - We monitor the progress of your pet's preventive program, so regular dental check-ups are essential, just as twice-a-year check-ups are important for people. For pets who form tartar quickly or those with a history of oral problems, frequent examinations and cleanings may be advised.
Dental Care for Rabbits and Pocket Pets
Rabbits and pocket pets like ferrets, guinea pigs, chinchillas, rats, sugar gliders, etc. require dental care just as much as our dogs, cats, and we do. That is why it is important that these critters get examined yearly by a veterinarian, not only to ensure their body health but also their oral health. With these smaller pets it can be hard to tell when they are having a dental problem until they are showing signs of illness, like bad breath, decreased or no appetite, lethargy/depression, drooling, pawing at face or mouth, eye discharge, facial swelling, etc. So, preventative care and veterinary visits are essential for these little guys.