Tomorrow is the 1st day of October and the beginning of Dental Month at Springhurst Animal Hospital. Regular dental cleanings can help prevent, the most common disease in cats and dogs, periodontal disease (gum disease).
Gum disease is an infection resulting from build up of plaque on surfaces of teeth around the gums. The bacteria in plaque irritate the gum tissue if plaque accumulates, which leads to infection in the bone surrounding the teeth. Tartar begins to form within a few days on a tooth surface that is not kept clean. Once the tartar begins to grow in thickness it is difficult to remove without dental instruments.
Effects of Gum Disease
-Bad breath is usually the first and most common effect owner’s notice.
-The gums become irritated, leading to bleeding and oral pain, and your pet may begin to lose its appetite.
-The roots may become severely affected that some teeth become loose and fall out.
-Bacteria surrounding the roots gain access to the blood stream. Studies have shown that dogs with severe periodontal disease have more severe microscopic damage in their kidneys, heart muscle and liver than dogs with less severe periodontal disease.
Management & Prevention
-If the surfaces of teeth are cleaned frequently, the gums will stay healthy.
-Daily oral hygiene.
-The gold standard is brushing. However, not all dogs will enjoy having their teeth
brushed, which could lead to frustration for you, the owner, and your dog. To make
things easier for you and your pet there are other methods, that may be more
-Daily chewing activities
-Dental specific food, treats, and chews
Recommended Dental Health Products
-Purina Veterinary Diet DH Dental Health: This can be used as a regular maintenance diet or treats.
-Virbac CET Chews
-Milk-Bone Brushing Chews for Dogs
-Tartar Shield Soft Rawhide Chews for Dogs
-Petsmile by Supersmile toothpaste
-ADA-compliant soft-bristle, flat head toothbrush
Make sure to give your dog the correct size/weight range when offering any type of bone or chew.