Fighting Dental Disease in Pets
Have you ever heard the saying, “a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s” or maybe something similar? It is kind of like saying the sandbox your kid plays in at home is cleaner than the sandbox they play in at the park. Each sandbox is dirty, they may just be dirty with different things, depending on what they are exposed to.
The same is true when comparing human mouths to dog mouths. Dogs and humans both have bacteria-ridden mouths. Bite wounds from any species are dangerous because of how absolutely disgusting mouths are.
Fortunately, we humans take action to try to prevent our mouths from resembling a tooth-filled swamp. We know the importance of brushing our teeth, and maybe you even remember to floss and go to the dentist twice a year, but do you remember to brush your pet’s teeth regularly? If so, congratulations! If not, don’t worry. You aren’t alone.
The Hidden Dangers of Dental Disease in Pets
One of the biggest complaints we hear from pet owners at The Animal Clinic is about the smell of their pet’s breath, and likewise one of the most diagnosed problems is dental disease. Did you know that oral health can directly relate to the health of other body systems? It’s true! When the bacteria of the mouth becomes unbalanced and causes excessive tartar buildup and gum inflammation, it opens a door into the bloodstream and straight to the heart. The same type of plaque found in the mouth has been found in arterial walls, causing heart disease. Actually, the entire immune system can be affected by what goes on in the mouth.
To make matters worse, some breeds are highly susceptible to dental disease. For example; small breeds such as dachshunds, chihuahuas and miniature pinchers are all highly susceptible to potentially dangerous dental disease. For these at-risk breeds, routine dental cleanings are imperative. If your dog is one of these small breeds or if he/she already has a solid layer of tartar built up, please make an appointment for a dental cleaning as soon as possible.
How Teeth Cleaning is Done
In many cases the only way to get those teeth pearly white again is to make an appointment to have your pet sedated so the vet can use an ultrasonic scaler to break up the tartar, and finish with a polish to the the teeth clean even longer.
If you are unsure if your pet needs a dental cleaning, make sure you ask the vet during your pet’s next exam. The mouth is one of the first places the vet checks during both healthy and sick pet exams, but don’t hesitate to mention your concerns about your pet’s oral health anyway.
Between Teeth Cleaning Appointments
Take precautions to prevent tartar buildup and dental disease in your pet’s mouth between cleanings. Whether you are able to brush your pet’s teeth every day, or use dental supplements like treats, foods, or powders, take care of their mouths before their teeth become a problem. There are all kinds of products on the market today that you can use and now that you know the dangerous consequences of not keeping up on your pet’s oral health, you know that it is more important than ever to make use of these readily available products.
Remember, it is never too late to start making oral hygiene a part of a healthy routine for all members of your family. Call today to make a dental cleaning appointment.