Pet Dental Health Month
January 17, 2012
How do you know if your pet needs to take advantage of this special? The answer is pretty simple: you probably do. Eighty percent of all dogs and seventy percent of cats over 3 years of age have some form of dental disease. If one of our veterinarians has mentioned that your pet would benefit from some form of dental care, now is the time to follow up.
If you aren’t sure if your pet needs dental work, call to make a free appointment with one of our nurses today. He or she can help determine if you simply need to start a dental care regimen at home or if you need to schedule a cleaning, periodontal treatments or even extractions.
Remember that dental disease doesn’t affect just your pet’s mouth. Periodontal disease is a silent killer that starts with a bacterial infection in the mouth. The bacteria then sneak through the blood stream to the heart, lungs or kidneys where they exacerbate existing disease or cause disease by themselves.
The first sign of periodontal disease is bad breath, and it shouldn’t be ignored. If plaque is present as a brownish staining of the teeth, your pet has stage I periodontal disease and it is time to initiate an aggressive brushing or dental chew program. If there is a black line where the teeth meet the gums, your pet has stage II periodontal disease and bacteria has made its way under the gum line. You won’t be able to get this off with brushing or chews, so you need to schedule a professional dental cleaning now.
Your pet has stage III periodontal disease when calculus had formed. When this happens, you have missed your opportunity for a simple cleaning. These teeth need to be x-rayed for disease under the gum, cleaned and if pockets of detached gum are forming around the teeth, then we will need to perform some form of periodontal treatment and you will need to maintain an aggressive home-care regimen to save the affected teeth. Unfortunately, once calculus has formed, it is hard to tell how bad the periodontal disease is until the pet is anesthetized. Sometimes we find stage IV and V periodontal disease under the calculus. These pets will require tooth extractions or root canal therapy. So, when you bring your pet in to have that mouth cleaned up, be available for us to call you in the middle of the procedure if we find periodontal disease beyond stage III. Treating these bad teeth immediately brings instant comfort and relief to your pet.
Whatever stage of periodontal disease your pet has, it should be treated now. Call us today so we can help. 843-769-6784.