Did you know that pet dental health issues and periodontal diseases is a growing epidemic?

Can you imagine a world where humans went a few weeks, months or even years without a trip to the dental office or brushing the teeth?  A life without brushing the teeth?  Yuck!

Over 70% of cats and 80% of dogs have dental disease and related concerns by the young age of 3.  Are you one of the many pet owners that doesn’t realize that dental disease leads to bad breath, painful oral infections, problems eating and tooth loss?  Studies have confirmed the link between systemic diseases that affect the kidney, heart and liver and oral diseases.

Home Dental Health Routine

Becoming familiar with oral cavity of your pet is an important first step in the overall health of your pet.  Knowing what the healthy mouth looks like will help you notice the early signs of oral diseases and examining the pet’s mouth starting at an early age will teach the cat or dog to be comfortable with its mouth being handled.  Starting early will lead to a lifetime of good habits for the pet and the owner.  Knowing your pet’s oral cavity will lead to noticing painful areas or abnormal lesions.

Brushing teeth with pet specific toothpaste and soft-bristled toothbrushes and adding an oral rinse reduces bacteria and tartar build-up. Avoid fluoride and human products, the ingredients are toxic to the family pet.

Offering your pet oral chews designed specifically for oral health is an easy and effective way to help reduce the build-up of tartar on the teeth. Always monitor your pet when using dental chews to avoid accidental choking.

Veterinarian Dental Visits

As part of every wellness visit, it is important for the veterinarian to perform an oral exam to assess the oral health status of the pet.  Just like with humans, regular dental cleanings once a year are key to keeping the pet pain free and healthy.  Dental x-rays should be done occasionally to detect dental disease that doesn’t meet the eye.  If the dental disease is advanced, anesthetic dental cleanings will be necessary.  Pathology below the gum line will be revealed through full mouth x-rays, which is done under anesthesia. The dental cleanings that are non-anesthetic procedures is a great option in preventive care.

Call Bloom Plaza Animal Hospital

Before starting an at-home dental care routine, call Bloom Plaza Animal Hospital in San Jose at 408-972-2000.  We have a strong, experienced veterinarian staff and passionate vet techs who can educate you on what is best for your pet but remember that dental cleanings and health care is a medical procedure and should only be done by a trained dentist.