Oral hygiene is just as important for pets as it is for people. In fact, 50% of dogs and cats over three years have gum (periodontal) disease, making it the most common disease suffered by small pets.
Periodontal disease develops when plaque builds up on teeth and hardens into tartar. This creates pockets of space between the teeth and gums where bacteria thrive. These bacteria not only cause problems like painful tooth decay inside the mouth, but can also enter the bloodstream and spread to other parts of the body, harming the heart, liver and kidneys.
Signs and Symptoms of Early Periodontal Disease
Plaque build-up on teeth
Red or irritated gums
Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Swelling in or around the jaw area
Difficulty eating and drinking or appetite loss
Frequently dropping toys or food
Caring for Your Pet’s Teeth at Home
The best way to prevent gum disease is with regular dental care, including professional exams and cleanings and at-home care. There are several steps you can take at home to maintain the oral health of your cat or dog.
Regular Brushing – Brushing is the most effective thing you can do to prevent or manage gum disease. We recommend brushing your pet’s teeth daily to keep your pet’s teeth and gums healthy. Be sure to use a toothpaste specifically formulated for pets and use a comfortable soft bristled brush.
Special Treats and Chew Toys – Let your pet chew on toys and treats specially designed to promote oral health. There is also a dental diet formulated to decrease tartar.
Objects to Avoid – Do not allow your pet to chew on antlers, bones, rocks or knotted rawhides. All which risk fracturing the teeth.
Schedule a Pet Dental Exam in Tucson Today
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) recommends adult pets (one year and older) have an annual dental exam. For the safety of pets, the AAHA also requires that dental cleanings for cats and dogs be performed under general anesthesia.
Adobe Veterinary Center is an AAHA certified veterinary hospital, and we are proud to provide complete dental services for dogs and cats. From dental examinations, dental x-rays, and professional cleanings to tooth extractions and oral surgeries, we are fully equipped to meet all of your pet’s oral healthcare needs.
Our veterinarians always perform an oral examination as part of a pet’s routine check-up, but we recommend scheduling a dental appointment right away, if you notice any of the signs or symptoms of periodontal disease in your pet. To learn more about Adobe Veterinary Center’s small pet dental services, we welcome you to contact our office today.
Watch this short instructional video on Arizona Veterinary Dental Specialist website
Our practice is unique in that we provide medical care to multiple species in the greater Tucson area. Three of our veterinarians specialize in the care of dogs and cats and the other three veterinarians specialize in the care of horses and livestock.