So maybe we don't all have pets that smile, but keeping their teeth healthy and intact is an important part of their overall health. As we enter February, we start National Pet Dental Health Month.
Just like us, pets should have daily teeth care. Daily brushing is the best way to help keep the teeth healthy. If that is hard to do, dental treats (taking into consideration calories added), water additives and dental foods are also available. With annual exams, the teeth are always examined. We check for red gums, fractured teeth, plaque, abnormal discoloration or growths. If we have concerns, a dental cleaning and examination is recommended. This entails general anesthesia (because we can't tell our pets to open wide, and hold still), scaling and examining each tooth. We extract loose, fractured, diseased teeth. I know it sounds scary when your pet has multiple extractions, but it is amazing how quickly the mouth heals and how much more comfortable your pets are without painful teeth.
The other big problem with dental disease, is all of the bacteria! This bacteria doesn't just sit on a tooth and smell bad... it gets into the bloodstream and decides to settle in to the heart valves, as endocarditis. It can also cause liver and kidney infections/dysfunction, as these organs are filtering systems for the body. So just be aware that poor dental care can easily lead to systemic illnesses.
For this month and every month, check your pets teeth! If you have concerns please contact your veterinarian, so we can make a plan for better teeth and better health!
Happy Valentine's Day!!!