February is National Pet Dental Health Month. The fact that an entire month has been devoted to pet dental health should be a clue that the veterinary profession considers dental health a high priority. Are you interested in learning how much you really know about your pet’s dental health? Then take the American Veterinary Medical Association’s quiz here.
Lawndale Veterinary Hospital certainly considers dental health as an essential part of your pet’s wellness care. We have a variety of dental health resources available on our ‘Paws to Protect: Dental Health’ page. Furthermore, if it’s time for your pet to receive a professional dental cleaning under anesthesia, then February is a great time to schedule since we are discounting dental cleanings by 20% during the entire month!
Maybe you are someone who already focuses on maintaining your pet’s dental health through daily tooth brushing, prescription dental diets, dental chews with the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seal of approval, oral hygiene rinses, and/or professional dental cleanings under anesthesia. That’s fantastic – and we encourage you to visit our ‘Paws to Protect: Dental Health’ section if you need some new ideas for dental care!
Or, perhaps you have a young dog or cat with healthy teeth, so you think dental health is something you can worry about later. Well, it’s never too soon to start with home dental care! Getting your young pet to tolerate tooth-brushing can set you up for lifelong daily brushing success. Or, finding dental diets, chews, or treats that work for your individual pet early will get you in the habit of using them regularly.
If you are a pet owner who still needs some convincing that proper dental care is essential for your pet’s well-being, then we have put together 10 reasons why we think all pet owners should care about their pet’s teeth.
- Dental disease can cause discomfort and pain. As plaque and tartar accumulation progress, inflammation can set in, causing periodontal disease. The inflammatory process of periodontal disease can lead to gingivitis, oral bleeding, infections, and damage to the surrounding soft tissue and bone structures – all of which are painful.
- Bacteria associated with dental disease can cause infections in the mouth, tooth roots, or other surrounding structures.
- Bacteria associated with dental disease can enter the bloodstream and potentially affect other parts of the body such as the heart and kidneys.
- Pets may have problems chewing food, or may even not want to eat, when they have dental disease.
- Owners may notice behavioral changes in pets with dental disease.
- Taking dental care seriously means your pet’s breath will smell better!
- If you are proactive with home dental care, you can help your pet simply avoid many dental health issues.
- What you see on the tooth surface is not necessarily the whole picture. Changes can be occurring under the gum line – causing pain and problems for your pet.
- You have options! Caring for your pet’s teeth has never been easier with so many products and ideas available.
- Dental disease is not going to go away unless you help do something about it.
So if you are doing a great job with your pet’s dental health – then keep it up! If you haven’t yet embraced the idea of keeping your pet’s mouth healthy, then make 2018 the year! Contact us today if you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s dental health, or if you would like to schedule a dental cleaning.
Author: Dr. Clarissa Noureddine, DVM, MS, MS