As a pet owner, you want to ensure your pet remains as healthy as possible. Pet dental care is essential to prevent your pet from developing uncomfortable, painful dental issues.
It’s important that pet owners understand the benefits of pet dental care and how it helps prevent the development of dental disease.
What is Dental Disease?
The term “dental disease” is typically used to refer to issues that develop in the teeth, gums, and other supporting structures because of poor dental hygiene. Dental disease typically starts when a sticky film called plaque builds up on your pet’s teeth. It contains a ton of bacteria and a lot of trapped food particles. Without regular removal, plaque hardens and turns into tartar, which causes inflammation to the gums and other damage when it gets below your pet’s gumline. If allowed to progress, dental disease can lead to problems like periodontal disease. That’s where the gums recede from the teeth, causing them to loosen and eventually fall out. Your pet may be suffering from dental disease if you notice them experiencing one or more of the following symptoms:
- Swollen, inflamed gums
- Loose teeth
- Problems eating or drinking
- Excessive drooling Pain and bleeding in the mouth
Why Regular Pet Dental Care is Essential for Pets
Many dogs and cats fail to receive regular pet dental care, which can lead to the development of gum disease before they reach three years of age. Keeping up good dental hygiene for your pet can keep the supporting structures of the mouth healthy, which protects the teeth and keeps them from falling out. Regular pet dental care also helps prevent the development of dental disease that can cause pain in your dog’s mouth, including the development of cavities. Bacteria from the plaque build-up on a pet’s teeth can seep into their bloodstream. It can lead to organ damage if it ends up spreading around your pet’s body.
Proper Dental Care for Pets
Here are some steps you can take to ensure your pet receives proper dental care and help prevent gum disease.
- Brush their teeth — Brush your pet’s teeth at least a few times per week. Look for a pet-safe toothpaste explicitly suited to your animal. Many forms of human toothpaste contain ingredients that may be toxic to your pet.
- Feed them healthy chew treats — Look for pet treats specially designed to help control plaque and tartar build-up in dogs and cats.
- Visit the vet for cleanings — Take your pet in for a thorough dental check-up with their vet at least once or twice per year. They can safely perform a full dental cleaning in their office using proper equipment and anesthesia if needed.