Periodontal disease and the importance of dental health

There are four things vital to your pet's health and longevity: genetics, diet, regular veterinary care and immunizations, and dental health. While we don't often have much say regarding our pet's gene pool, the other three items are easy and relatively inexpensive to control. This article will discuss maintaining good dental health for your pets.

70-80% of all cats and dogs will develop some degree of periodontal disease by the time they are 3 years old! Periodontal disease, or inflammation of the gums and other surrounding tissues, is painful and irritating. Affected pets may have particularly bad breath, rub at their faces, have a change in appetite, drool excessively, and have red, swollen gums and loose teeth. They may also suffer a decrease in appetite.

Periodontal disease is preventable with regular at-home tooth brushing and professional cleanings when necessary. Specially formulated treats and food can also be of great value.

Periodontal disease can also be treated with dental prophylaxis and endodontics. This can become a complicated procedure involving extraction of diseased teeth and biopsies of any masses.

A thorough dental exam is incorporated into your annual wellness exam at Eldora Veterinary Care. In addition, if you ever have any concerns about your pet's teeth and gums you are welcome to schedule a dental consultation with Dr. Hill.

At the dental consultation, your pet's mouth will be examined thoroughly and evaluated for dental disease. If it is deemed that your pet is in need of teeth cleaning, the reasons why will be clearly laid out. Any abnormalities or obviously diseased teeth will be pointed out to you.

Because dental prophylaxis requires general anesthesia, your pet will also be assessed for general health and ability to safely undergo anesthesia. Pre-anesthetic blood work is strongly recommended for all patients, to rule out and systemic disease that is not identifyable on physical exam.

Please click here to learn about what happens during a professional dental cleaning.