5 Warning Signs Of Dental Disease in Pets

Dental disease in pets is a serious threat to systemic pet healthOur pets may not need to smile for the camera, but they still require dental care to keep them healthy and happy. Studies show that by the time they are 4 years of age, 85% of pets have some form of dental disease. And what starts as bad breath and a little tartar can quickly progress to more serious problems such as tooth loss, bacterial infection, and internal organ damage.

But many of us don’t regularly look inside our pet’s mouths. And so how to tell if our pet has a problem? We’ll look at the 5 warning signs of dental disease in pets and give you some tips on what to look for.

Dental Disease in Pets

First, what is dental disease? Periodontal disease is defined as the progressive inflammation of the supporting structures that surround the teeth. Here’s how it happens: Continue…

Getting to the Root of Periodontal Disease in Pets

periodontal diseaseThe American Veterinary Dental College estimates that periodontal disease is the most common condition seen in adult dogs and cats today. Studies report that by the time a dog or cat is 4 years of age, 85% of them have some form of dental disease. That’s a scary statistic! Fortunately, this common condition is completely preventable.

What is periodontal disease in pets, and more importantly, how can you and The Pet Experts at Naperville Animal Hospital prevent this problem from affecting your pet? Below, we’ll lift the lip on periodontal disease in pets, and give you our recommendations for care.

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You Can Learn to Brush Your Pet’s Teeth!

Think about dog's teeth healthUnfortunately, many owners are still reluctant to take pet dental care seriously, even though dental health is a strong indicator of overall health. From tooth loss to kidney disease, neglecting your pet’s mouth can have severe consequences.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way! To brush your pet’s teeth at home is the best preventive care strategy to protecting your dog or cat’s pearly whites. Keep reading to learn more about pet dental care and how to brush your pet’s teeth with ease.

The Chewing Myth

One of the reasons we often hear owners give for opting out of dental care is that wild animals don’t brush their teeth, they chew. While that’s partially true (some debris is removed by chewing sinew and bone), keep in mind that wild animals also don’t lead very long lives.
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Healthy Mouth, Healthy Pet: Reasons to Invest in Pet Dental Health

Naperville_iStock_000031982520_Large (1)Although we look at each individual area of your pet’s body to determine his or her overall wellness; it’s possible that the most influential area we examine is the mouth. The impact your pet’s oral health has on the whole body is astonishing. Even so, many pet owners ignore pet dental health altogether. But it doesn’t have to be this way! With a little fortitude and motivation, we can improve your pet’s dental health and, in turn, invest in a longer, happier life. Continue…

Home Dental Care for Your Pet

 

Annual exams and dental cleanings under anesthesia are vital for your pet’s oral health as well as their overall health.  But did you know that you can play an important role in warding off dental disease at home, too?  Here are a few suggestions for keeping those chompers pearly white a little longer and ward off the systemic effects of bad oral hygiene:

  • Brushing

At-home brushing is the most powerful tool in your arsenal!  Brushing at least every other day has been shown to significantly reduce plaque and tartar buildup.  Use a brush and paste specifically for pets and start slowly.  Most pets can be taught to tolerate tooth brushing if you are patient.  For more helpful information on how to introduce your pet to having its teeth brushed, please look at the handout provided on our website .  We are also happy to help you in person. Continue…

The Anatomy of Your Pet’s Dental Cleaning

 

Dental care is an important part of proper care for your dog or cat.  Having your veterinarian do a quick inspection during your pet’s routine wellness exams is good.  Providing home dental care as instructed by your veterinarian is important, but your furry friends need periodic dental cleanings to keep their mouths healthy. In fact, by the ripe old age of three, most pets have some dental disease.

What happens during a professional dental procedure for your pet?

  • Anesthesia.  There are no bones about it; a proper, thorough cleaning cannot take place without general anesthesia.  This allows the veterinarian to thoroughly examine your pet’s mouth, take dental x-rays if indicated, and perform an in-depth cleaning.  Your pet’s history and current physical condition will be taken into account when developing an anesthetic plan, allowing for the safest anesthetic experience possible.
  • Examination.   Once your dog or cat is safely anesthetized, a detailed examination of his or her mouth takes place.  Any problems are documented and a plan is formulated to address them.
  • Ultrasonic and hand scaling.  The dental plaque and tartar that cause periodontal disease is removed from all sides of the tooth and under the gum line.
  • Polishing.  To keep your pet’s whites pearly, the teeth are polished after scaling in order to smooth the tooth’s surface, slowing the deposition of further plaque and tartar.
  • Problem solving.  Your pet may have teeth that need to be extracted or need other procedures in order to address any issues that are identified. Your veterinarian will identify any issues and explain your options.
  • Putting together a game plan.  Your veterinarian will determine a plan for resolving any immediate issues and for better maintaining  your pet’s dental health down the road.

All pets need routine, professional dental cleanings.  Make it a priority this year to provide your special dog or cat with this basic care.  Speak with your veterinarian about when your pet should have a dental cleaning and what you should be doing at home to enhance his or her dental health.

Take advantage of our February 20% discount on dental cleanings in celebration of National Pet Dental Health Month. Phone now to book an appointment while this is on your mind:  (630) 355-5300

Pets Need Dental Care, Too!

Keeping your pet’s teeth pearly white is an important (and oftentimes overlooked) component of responsible pet ownership.  Many pets never receive any dental care at all, but all pets can benefit from a comprehensive dental care plan.  This includes the following components:

  • Annual oral exam

Starting around the age of 1 year, all pets should undergo a complete dental examination to find and address any problems.  By examining your pet’s teeth, gums, and oral cavity thoroughly under general anesthesia we can be sure that we don’t miss anything.

  • Periodic comprehensive dental cleanings

Most of us visit the dentist multiple times per year.  We recommend that pets receive a dental cleaning including ultrasonic tooth scaling, polishing and a fluoride treatment under general anesthesia.  For many pets this needs to be on a yearly basis.   Each pet’s individual needs should be discussed at their yearly examination.

  • Home dental care

This is important as well!  You can help aid your pet’s dental health at home by utilizing prescription dental care diets, recommended toys and treats, and by brushing your pet’s teeth regularly (daily is recommended).  To brush your pet’s teeth use a veterinary or soft toothbrush with an angled head.  Never use human toothpaste but rather an enzymatic veterinary toothpaste.  At first you should start slowly to avoid upsetting your pet- make tooth brushing a positive experience!  If you need help or more information or a demonstration, please let us know.

By providing your pet with the above preventive dental care measures, you are taking an active role in reducing the incidence of dental disease in your best friend and keeping that smile around for years to come.