Many pet owners are surprised when our veterinarian team tells them that dental issues are among the most dangerous health risks that dogs and cats can face. Dental issues can sometimes be their own isolated problems, such as bad breath and bleeding gums, and sometimes they can be indicative of larger, more serious overall health issues. The best way to prevent both the small and big medical issues is to have your pet scheduled for an annual dental check-up with our local veterinarians at Crow Hill Veterinary Hospital in Bailey.
The Importance of Routine Dental Health Visits
As expressive as our pets can be, they can't always tell us when they're feeling pain, where they're feeling pain, and how bad that pain is. And when they do exhibit that they are in pain, that pain is often the symptom of an underlying issue that has progressed to an advanced stage. By having your pet regularly checked for dental issues, you can catch issues at the start, before they progress and risk harming your pet's overall health. As with all things in medicine, it’s always easier to prevent than to treat a problem.
Preventing Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is one of the most common dental risks your pet can encounter. As with humans, it occurs when plaque builds up on your pet's teeth and is not removed. Periodontal disease causes bad breath, gum issues, and, in its final stages, it gets incredibly painful.
To prevent periodontal disease from developing, your vet will likely recommend annual teeth cleaning. At home, you can help reduce the chance of periodontal disease by giving your pet tartar-control food and treats containing antimicrobial chlorhexidine. You may also look at regularly brushing your pet's teeth with a pet-approved toothpaste. Do not use human toothpaste as the common ingredient xylitol can be fatal to dogs and cats.
Bacteremia occurs due to the constant presence of certain bacterial organisms in a dog or cat's bloodstream, which is most commonly the result of poor oral hygiene. Left untreated, bacteremia can result in a serious and sometimes lethal disease known as bacterial endocarditis. Regularly brushing your pet's teeth is the best way to prevent the growth of bacteremia and bacterial endocarditis.
Preventing Tooth Resorption
Tooth resorption is a pet dental problem that most often impacts cats, but it is a problem that can sometimes be seen in dogs as well. This dental issue is caused by odontoclasts which gradually destroys the tooth. Brushing can help with prevention while regular vet visits are the best way to catch the disease in a timely manner.
Having Your Pet's Dental Health Checked By Dr. Sheila RiceWatkins
While these are some of the more common dental issues your pet can face, they aren't the only ones. Schedule your pet for a dental appointment with one of our veterinarians at Crow Hill Veterinary Hospital in Bailey to learn more.