February is Dental Health Month and we’re celebrating by giving you three reasons WHY you should take your animals to your Veterinarian for regular dental cleanings. You want that plague and tartar accumulation removed! This process does require general anesthesia for a comprehensive cleaning.
Regular cleanings are important, so your Veterinarian can look for periodontal disease. And dental probing and x-rays are how experts find the deeper pathology. Remember there are low-cost options in Portland if you’re concerned with the overall cost of a cleaning and digital X-rays.
According to Dr. Jacqueline Myers, DVM at Forever Pet Dental, the importance of pet dental health is becoming more and more apparent to dog and cat owners as their pets age and they start to deal with dental issues, which often can be expensive. “There are many low-cost options that can greatly improve your pet’s oral health including at home daily tooth brushing, dental products endorsed by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC seal of approval), or even a specifically formulated dental health diet. Discouraging rock, stick, antler, and bone chewing can also help to prevent broken teeth. Also recommended is an annual dental cleaning under gas anesthesia, which can be expensive, but low cost, high-quality options like Forever Pet Dental can help with that too,” added Dr. Myers. With this in mind, how do you know your animal needs a dental cleaning?
Top signs of periodontal disease
Every pet parent should be aware of the top signs of periodontal disease too and these include red, swollen gums and loss of appetite or weight. And more signs can be found on the American Veterinary Medical Association site.
Studies have shown that dogs with severe periodontal disease have microscopic damage in their kidneys, heart muscle and liver. Internal organs are impacted and inflammation in any part of the body can have a serious negative impact on your pet’s internal organs.
It’s More Than Just the Teeth
More than the teeth are examined. Dental exams begin with a comprehensive oral examination to evaluate structures of the face, head, and neck. Then intraoral structures are examined including the teeth and soft tissues.
Other ways to prevent this disease? Daily brushing is necessary to decrease calculus formation. Reduction of bacteria in the mouth can be accomplished through not only brushing but also diet and the use of toys. Start by massaging your dog’s gums as an introduction to brushing their teeth.
Please ask our staff for their recommendation on appropriate chew toys and toothpaste or toothbrushes.
We love this video from Whole Dog Journal’s editor about the importance of oral health and teeth brushing.