According to research, before pets are three years old, 80 percent of the dogs and 70 percent of the cats have a dental health problem. These statistics show that many pet parents do not do enough to ensure their pets have a clean mouth.
Neglecting the pet’s dental hygiene places it at risk of catching some severe health issues. Here are some of them:
Tartar: This condition develops due to the calcification of plaque. Plaque comes into contact with calcium phosphate and calcium carbonate, creating a tough buildup that surrounds teeth.
Caries: It refers to the decalcification of your pet’s tooth enamel. It exposes the sensitive part of the tooth and encourages cavity development.
Pyorrhea: It causes the gums and tooth sockets to become inflamed. The teeth loosen, and pus develops around the tooth.
Periodontal disease: It is a widespread oral cavity disease that affects both the teeth and gums.
Gingivitis: It is the inflammation of the gums. The gums become tender and painful.
Gingivostomatitis: It is a condition that causes the oral tissue to swell and become red. They also bleed easily. Gingivostomatitis affects cats.
Oral cancers: Both dogs and cats can have oral cancers. The cancer is difficult to detect and can be fatal.
Feline odontoclastic resorption lesions: The condition leads to the development of painful lesions. The lesions chew away healthy oral tissue and cause the teeth to fall off. The disease affects cats.
For all the above conditions, the underlying issue is plaque and food remains that you fail to remove with proper oral hygiene. The plaque and food remains create an ideal breeding ground for harmful bacteria. The result is irritation and inflammation that compromises your pet’s health and comfort.
It Goes Beyond the Mouth
Unfortunately, pets’ oral problems are not limited to the mouth. Once the mouth is chronically ill, the disease spreads to other parts of the pet’s body. The toxins and bacteria from the disease enter the bloodstream and are transferred to other parts of the body. If toxins get to the brain, heart, and kidneys, the effect can be fatal.
Prevent Pets’ Dental Diseases
The diseases discussed above are all frightening; you wouldn’t want your beloved pet to suffer them. It would help if you took action to prevent them.
It all starts with giving your pet the right food. The food should be meat-based but well balanced. Dry foods are preferred because they do not stick to the teeth as much. Get your pet some treats it can chew on to exercise its teeth. Also, get your pet some raw carrots, celery, and apples. They are fibrous, crunchy, and help to keep the plaque away by gently scraping it off.
Important also is to brush and clean your pet’s teeth regularly. Regular brushing takes away the plaque and tartar buildup. Vets recommend brushing the pet’s teeth daily. Use a dog toothbrush and dog toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth.
Remember to take your pet for regular dental checkups and cleaning. The pet’s teeth and gums need checking by a vet at least once every six months. This preventive measure allows the vet to spot and treat any dental issues that develop before they advance.
Learn more about health dangers of poor pet dental hygiene, contact Mokena Animal Clinic in Mokena, IL at (708) 479-2811 to request an appointment.