Do You Brush? Care for Your Pet’s Teeth

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Of course you brush your teeth, probably more than once a day. But what about your dog or cats teeth? Lift the lip on your pet and what do you see and smell? Are the teeth brown, yellow or worse? Does the smell knock you over? Your friend could have dental disease.

Yes, pets can have dental problems just like people do. Dogs rarely get cavities though. Most of their problems are due to tartar build up. The tartar lifts the gum away from the tooth. This allows bacteria to ascend the root of the tooth. The infection that results can lead to destruction of the periodontal ligament. This is the structure that holds the tooth to the bone. Once the periodontal ligament has been damaged the animal is likely to lose the tooth.

Dental disease can lead to other health issues that can affect your pet

  • Painful teeth and gums
  • Heart disease – bacteria in the mouth can spread to the blood stream
  • Liver and kidney problems due to bacteria

How can I keep my dog and cats teeth clean?

  • Brushing with soft toothbrush and pet approved toothpaste
  • Oral sprays that inhibit bacteria growth
  • Special diets that slow down tartar formation
  • Chew treats with plaque fighting enzymes

Consult your veterinarian at least once every six months to evaluate your pet’s oral health. He or she will answer questions about at-home care, as well as evaluate the frequency with which your pet should receive professional cleanings. If you notice bad breath, red or swollen gums, missing teeth or appetite changes, bring your pet in immediately for an examination. Be sure to care for your pet’s teeth