As pet owners, we want the best for our furry friends, and that includes keeping them healthy and happy. February is National Pet Dental Health Awareness Month, which is the perfect time to focus on your pet's dental health. Dental disease is a common problem for pets, and it can lead to serious health problems if left untreated. Here, we'll explore dental disease in pets and what you can do to prevent and treat these conditions.
What is dental disease in pets?
Dental disease in pets is caused by the buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth, which can lead to inflammation and infection of the gums. This can cause bad breath, tooth decay, and tooth loss. If left untreated, dental disease can also lead to more serious health problems, such as kidney disease and heart disease.
What are the signs of dental disease in pets?
The signs of dental disease in pets can be subtle at first, but they may include:
- Bad breath
- Swollen or bleeding gums
- Loose or missing teeth
- Difficulty eating or chewing
- Pawing at the mouth
- Yellow or brown buildup on the teeth
If you notice any of these signs in your pet, it's important to schedule a dental exam with your veterinarian.
How can you prevent dental disease in pets?
Preventing dental disease in pets starts with good oral hygiene. Here are some tips to help keep your pet's teeth healthy:
- Brush your pet's teeth regularly. Daily brushing is best, but even a few times a week can help prevent plaque buildup.
- Provide your pet with dental chews or toys. These can help remove plaque and promote healthy teeth and gums.
- Schedule regular dental cleanings with your veterinarian. A professional cleaning can remove plaque and tartar buildup that can lead to dental disease.
- Feed your pet a healthy diet that is low in carbohydrates and high in protein. This can help reduce plaque buildup.
How is dental disease treated in pets?
If your pet has dental disease, your veterinarian may recommend a treatment plan that includes:
- Dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar buildup
- Antibiotics to treat any infection
- Extraction of any loose or damaged teeth
- Pain management medication
In severe cases, your pet may need to undergo surgery to treat advanced dental disease.
Did you know that dental disease can be linked to kidney disease in pets?
Dental disease can cause chronic inflammation and infection in the mouth, which can release harmful bacteria and toxins into the bloodstream. When this happens, the kidneys can become overworked and may struggle to filter out these toxins, which can lead to kidney damage and disease over time.
Additionally, pets with dental disease may have difficulty eating and drinking, which can lead to dehydration and put extra stress on the kidneys.
Furthermore, bacteria from the mouth can spread to other parts of the body, including the kidneys, potentially leading to kidney infection and damage. As a result, it is essential to take care of your pet's teeth to prevent dental disease and reduce the risk of kidney disease.
By taking care of your pet's teeth and watching for signs of dental disease or kidney disease, you can help prevent these conditions from occurring. If you're concerned about your pet's dental or kidney health, be sure to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. They can help you develop a plan to keep your pet healthy and happy for years to come.
Talk to your veterinarian about Kidney-Chek, as this may be a useful tool for you to screen your pet at home for kidney problems, in between your regular vet visits! Click here to check it out 🐱🐶