Don’t ask me about the last time I went to the dentist. I don’t want everyone to know that the last time I went (four years ago), they found six cavities and I’ve been too mortified to go back since. That’s pretty sad, because I have thumbs and know how to brush my teeth. I’m apparently just not that good at it. For me, a toothless future is a scary possible reality. Don’t let that be the case for your pets!
Just like human teeth, puppy and kitty teeth need to be taken care of regularly or drastic (aka expensive) measures will need to be taken. Did you know it is recommended that your pet get his chompers checked out at least once a year?87% of dogs and 70% of cats develop periodontal disease by the time they are three years old! Periodontal disease progresses from:
- bacteria on the teeth (plaque),
- which can then harden into tartar,
- which can then move under the gum line, causing inflammation (gingivitis)
- and if left untreated, the inflammation can worsen causing bone/soft tissue loss in the mouth (periodontal disease).
Gingivitis is reversible, while periodontal disease is not. Believe me, this is scary news for me too, because I know there’s a raging tartar party happening in my mouth at all times. Cavities in dogs and cats are less common than in humans, but bad mouth health can cause a myriad of unpleasant, dangerous (and again, completely preventable) issues in your pets:
- Bad breath
- Broken teeth and roots
- Abscessed/infected teeth
- Mouth cysts and tumors
- Malocclusion (when their teeth become misaligned with their bite)
In smaller dogs, poor dental health can even lead to a broken jaw!And if that’s not enough, the bacteria from your pet’s mouth can cause other problems in the body like heart and liver disease. Poor pet dental health is also linked with diabetes.
Those are several good reasons to start brushing your pet’s (and your own) teeth regularly. Even a few times a week will suffice. If that becomes too daunting a task, you can always provide your pet with dental chews and/or a dental prescription diet.
The most important thing you can do to make sure your pet’s mouth is in tip-top shape is to get their teeth professionally scaled and cleaned once a year, and take x-rays to make sure everything under the gums is doing okay too.Remember that dogs and cats are very good at hiding any pain that they may be experiencing. That’s why in veterinary medicine, preventative care is so important. You may not even know your pet is having an issue until it’s so severe it could be too late!
Luckily, Gill Bright has your back. For the month of February, we’re offering $20 off dental cleanings. That means they start around $130, which is a small price to pay to keep your pet’s mouth kissably clean.