Feb 12, 2014
February is Dental Health Awareness Month which means it's a great month to learn some facts about your pet's dental health!
Dental and oral disease in pets can often be caused when plaque and tartar build up in the mouth from bacteria in the saliva. This leads to inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and damage of bone, gum tissue and other supporting structures of the tooth (periodontal disease). Severe periodontal disease can result in chronic pain, infection and eventually tooth loss.
Some signs that you have a pet that may have a dental or oral disease include: bad breath, loose teeth, teeth that are discolored or look like they have lots of tartar on them, bleeding from the mouth, excessive drooling or even a lack of interest in their regular food. If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet it is a good idea to make an appointment to have their teeth checked out by a veterinarian.
By the time they are three years old, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats will have an oral disease so it is important to have your pet's mouth examined at least once a year to check for any signs of an oral or dental disease.
Below are some before and after pictures of a particular case where the dog had not been properly taken care of and had never had her teeth examined. When her new owners adopted her they noticed the problems and brought her in to get her teeth cleaned. Unfortunately her teeth had been neglected for so long that she ended up having 22 teeth that had to be extracted in the end. The owners gave us authorization to use these photos so as to educate other owners on how important dental health is for your pets.
Here is a picture of teeth when the
veterinarian first took a look.
Here is a picture of the teeth
right before the teeth cleaning.
Here is a picture of her teeth
after getting them cleaned.
Even though we got the teeth cleaned, the tissue and bone damage were so severe that this dog ended up having 22 teeth removed overall. She is now recovering comfortably at home. Please check back later on for an update on her progress.
In recognition of dental health awareness month we suggest scheduling an appointment with your veterinarian to take a look at your pet's teeth.
For more information and resources on your pet's dental health please visit the American Veterinary Dental College website at http://www.avdc.org