You know that routine veterinary appointments for booster shots and the occasional health problem are important. But have you considered your pet’s dental health? Just like people, dogs and cats are healthiest when their teeth are in good condition and well cared for. Annual dental checkups and additional checkups when a tooth breaks are very important to your pet’s overall health.
Risk of Periodontal Disease
Just like people, dogs who do not have good dental care are at risk for periodontal disease. In periodontal disease, bacteria in the mouth turns into plaque on the teeth, which is in turn develops into tartar when mixed with the calcium from your pet’s saliva. This can lead to infections of the teeth, and the root of the tooth could die, causing the tooth to become loose. About 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats have periodontal disease by age three.
Loose and Broken Teeth
Loose and broken teeth can expose nerve endings, which can be painful and harmful to your pet. While it is important to protect your pet’s teeth with regular dental checkups to prevent tooth loss, it is equally important that loose and broken teeth are removed. You may not even realize that teeth are loose or broken, but the veterinary dentist can determine this during an exam.
Protecting Your Pet’s Teeth
There are some things you can do to protect your pet’s teeth. Avoid giving them hard things to chew on, such as antlers or bones. Give them treats and chews that clean the teeth as they gnaw on them. Finally, make sure you are getting your pet into the vet for a dental checkup at least once per year. If your pet suddenly seems to be having trouble eating or no longer wants to chew on toys, it could be an indication that something is wrong, and an extra dental checkup may be required. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.