Can you imagine what your teeth would look like if you never brushed them? It’s no different for cats and dogs, though many pet owners don’t pay very much attention to their pet’s dental health. Bad breath and dirty teeth are unappealing, but many pet owners aren’t aware that these may be indicators of gum disease that can spread to the kidney, heart, and liver. The gums are a boundary to the bloodstream, so unless you are regularly providing dental care for your pet, you are neglecting an important factor in their overall health and putting them at a higher risk for serious illness.
85% of dogs and 70% of cats over the age of three suffer from some form of dental disease, so chances are your pet could use a dental exam. Even if your pet doesn’t have stained teeth, bacteria can still be present below the gum line, so it’s important to have your pet’s oral cavity examined by a professional. In fact, if your pet has bad breath, they have a form of dental disease.
Without proper care, plaque builds up on the teeth and turns into tartar. These areas spread as long as they are untreated and result in gum disease, tooth loss, and pain. Remember, your pet feels the pain of a toothache just like you do, and worst of all they can’t tell you they’re in pain. You wouldn’t go weeks or months without dealing with a toothache, would you? If your pet doesn’t receive routine dental care, they could be experiencing pain in their gums and jaw.
The best thing you can do to prevent dental disease is to call Town Center Animal Hospital to schedule an appointment for your pet. You have to do your part at home with brushing and special dental chews, but your veterinarian plays a vital role in your pet’s dental health as well. Annual dental exams are a necessary part of your pet’s overall health, so call us at (702) 262-1300 or come by in person to talk about your pet’s dental health today.
Dental Success Stories
Meet Lexi – She is a 3 year old Chihuahua mix. Her owner noticed Lexy not wanting to chew her hard kibble over the last month. She would also chatter her teeth at night. After further exploration while under anesthesia for a dental it was determined that she had fractured both of her upper premolar 4 teeth. X-rays showed that bacteria was actually causing an abscess around the root. This tooth is a dog’s strongest tooth. And the one they like to use to chew on hard bones. Both upper premolars were extracted which will not cause any lifelong complications. Her owner reports that she is eating hard kibble 1 month after the extractions and no more chattering.
Here is Boston- He is an 11 year old Pit Bull mix that has a passion for chewing on hard things. He has tremendous jaw strength and fractured his canine teeth. X-rays confirmed root instability of his upper right canine tooth. It was extracted using a flap technique. Boston was kept on a soft food diet for several weeks so the site could heal and his owner will resist giving him hard chew toys from this point going forward.
This is Sally- She is a 6 year old Dachshund. This breed did not get blessed when it comes to dental health. By far and large the Dachshund and Yorkie are breeds that tend to have lifelong dental problems. This image shows how the gum will actually pull away from the tooth and expose the root when there is a large amount of tartar present. At this point the tooth cannot be saved. The extraction was routine and Sally will not have any problems going forward with that tooth.