What You Need to Know About Dental Diseases in Pets
Many people associate dental health problems with humans. But did you know that these issues can be found in cats and dogs, too? In fact, without proper dental care, your pets can develop teeth and gum issues that can cause them a significant amount of pain, prevent them from enjoying their food and getting enough nutrition, and even affect their overall health. Because of this, you’ll want to find a veterinary hospital that specializes in dental health care and schedule dental check-ups for your cat or dog at least once a year.
Common Dental Diseases in Pets
Gingivitis is one of the most common dental diseases in cats and dogs. It’s caused by the development of tartar and dental plaque on the teeth, triggering inflammation in the tissues that surround and support the teeth and paving the way to infections.
If gingivitis is left untreated, it often progresses to periodontal disease, which is also called periodontitis. Without proper treatment, the infection from periodontal disease can spread deeper into the tooth socket, destroying the jaw bone in the process and ultimately causing tooth loss. This infection can also get into the bloodstream, travel to other organs and cause organ damage.
Signs of Dental Diseases
Commonly, there are no obvious signs of dental disease, but tartar and gingivitis can easily be diagnosed by your veterinarian on exam. Some of the earliest signs of dental disease may be a change in your pets’ behavior. You might see that they’re excessively drooling and/or constantly pawing at their mouth and that they favor one side of the mouth over the other when they chew their food or play with a toy. You might even notice that your cat or dog refuses to eat dry food, swallows it without chewing, or refuses to accept hard treats that they used to love.
If the dental disease is in an advanced stage, your pets might become unable to fully close or open their mouth, and you might see abnormal discharge from their gums or within their mouth. They might also have bleeding gums as well as missing and/or broken teeth and large cavities.
How to Prevent Dental Diseases
Just like with humans, daily brushing is one of the keys to stopping dental diseases in their tracks. Ask your veterinarian at Staten Island Veterinary Group to recommend a toothbrush that’s ideal for your dog or cat, and you can get a toothpaste that’s specially designed and formulated for pets. Of course, make it a point to brush your pets’ teeth once a day or as often as possible.
You can also buy chew toys and chew sticks that are made to remove plaque buildup and/or delay its development. With these products, you can entertain your pets while helping them have proper dental hygiene. Scheduling regular dental cleanings and check-ups with a trusted veterinarian is also highly recommended.
Get in Touch with Us
Dental disease is a serious concern for cats and dogs, and pet owners must take the right steps to prevent this health condition and help their pets stay away from tooth and gum problems at all times. If you need more tips on combating dental disease, or if you’re looking for veterinarians who provide high-quality dental services, make sure to call Staten Island Veterinary Group. We are known for our world-class Staten Island small mammal medicine services and other professional solutions, and we can provide the dental care and attention that your pet needs. Book an appointment with us now!