The Crucial Importance of Pet Dental Health
[by Aparajita Bose] Our furry friends bring joy to our lives, and ensuring their well-being goes beyond cuddles and treats. One often overlooked aspect is dental health. In this blog post, in honor of National Pet Dental Health Month, we’ll delve into the significance of maintaining those pearly whites for our pets and explore why proper dental care is crucial for their overall health and happiness. It is easy to learn how to brush your dog’s teeth without your dog becoming stressed. I teach people how to make brushing your dog’s teeth a pleasure for you and your dog. Preventive care is crucial and can be part of your daily routine with your dogs.
Dental Problems in Pets
Dental issues are common among pets, with consequences that extend beyond bad breath. Periodontal disease, gingivitis, and tooth decay can silently impact our pets’ quality of life. According to the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC), periodontal disease is the most prevalent clinical condition in cats and dogs.
The Impact on Overall Health
The AVMA underlines the link between pet oral health and systemic well-being, warning that dental issues can impact the heart, liver, and kidneys. Regular checks, swift veterinary attention, and preventive measures recommended by WSAVA, including check-ups and cleanings, are key for ensuring our pets’ joyous, pain-free lives.
Below is an outline of what can be expected at a dental cleaning:
Oral Examination: A thorough inspection of the pet’s mouth to assess the overall oral health, identify issues, and determine the extent of cleaning needed.
Scaling: Removal of plaque and tartar from the teeth using specialized tools. This process helps prevent periodontal disease and keeps the teeth clean.
Polishing: Smoothing the tooth surfaces after scaling to discourage the accumulation of plaque. This step makes it harder for bacteria to adhere to the teeth.
Fluoride Treatment (if necessary): Application of fluoride to strengthen the enamel and reduce the risk of dental decay. This step is often performed if there are signs of enamel erosion or vulnerability.
Digital Dental X-Rays (if necessary): In some cases, X-rays may be taken to assess the health of the teeth below the gum line, identify hidden issues, and plan appropriate treatments.
Gum Inspection: Evaluation of the gums for signs of inflammation, gingivitis, or other gum diseases. Treatment may be recommended based on the findings.
It’s important to note that pet dental cleaning is typically performed under anesthesia to ensure the safety and cooperation of the animal, especially during scaling and other more invasive procedures. Regular dental cleanings contribute to a pet’s overall well-being and help prevent dental issues that can impact their health and quality of life.
American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC): www.avdc.org
American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA): www.aaha.org
American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA): www.avma.org
World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA): www.wsava.org