The Importance of National Pet Dental Month
by Dr. Chris
February 1, 2010 The month of February each year is designated National Pet Dental Month. This is done to help promote, educate, and teach people that pets need proper dental care too. Clean teeth and gums are very important for overall pet health.
Common Dog Dental Care Problems1. Periodontitis
The most common dental problem for dogs
is periodontitis, also known as periodontal disease. The disease is caused by various factors like plaque build up, food debris, and a mixture of bacteria.
Plaque naturally builds up on teeth, and when it accumulates and hardens, it becomes tartar, which appear as hard white calluses on teeth that are hard to remove.2. Gingivitis
Gingivitis, also known as gum disease, happens when gum tissue suffers from inflammation. Without treatment, it can lead to periodontitis, teeth loosening, bone loss, and ultimately, loss of teeth. 3. Tooth fractures
Tooth fractures occur when dogs chew hard substances, such as hard rocks and even rawhides. The fractures can result in an infection inside the broken tooth, which is known as endodontic disease.
How to prevent dental problems
Dog and cat dental prices
can be expensive, you can help your pet fight off these dental care problems by removing the plaque before it actually develops as tartar. How to do it?
The most effective way is by brushing your dog's teeth in a mechanical fashion. The brushing reduces much of the bacteria present in the mouth, not to mention making your dog's breath smell sweeter. Make it a habit of brushing your dogs' teeth on a daily basis if possible. Toothpaste
There are toothpaste products made especially for dog dental care. Brush your pet's teeth using dog toothpaste. Human toothpaste is specifically designed for humans who know to to spit the paste out when done. Dogs will swallow the toothpaste, so pick a dog toothpaste that is safe enough for dogs to swallow. Click here for dog toothpaste
It will take your dog some time to get used to having a brush in its mouth. Let your dog get acquainted with it slowly. You should let your dog taste the brush, and maybe even chew on it a little to get used to it.
Your dog will start to realize that having a toothbrush in its mouth is not that bad. Make it a habit a few times a day, until he feels comfortable letting you brush with it. Finger brush
You could also use a finger brush instead of a toothbrush. A finger brush is a good alternative, although nothing could replace the good old toothbrush. The finger brush just fits onto one's fingertip and can let you brush the dog's teeth without the dog knowing it. Well, at least almost.
The disadvantage of using a finger brush to clean your dog's teeth is that its bristles are too large to go under the gumline's margin as effectively as a regular toothbrush. Click here for a dog finger brush
If you don't want to do the cleaning by yourself, you could take your dog to a veterinarian and have his teeth professionally cleaned. A good veterinarian will take additional measures to ensure your dog's teeth are properly cleaned by anesthetizing your dog, scraping the buildup of plaque from all over the gumline areas, and polishing the teeth for a sparkling finish.
Signs of cat and dog teeth problems:
1. Weight loss or loss of appetite
2. Pawing or scratching at their mouth
3. Difficulty eating
4. Tartar buildup on their back teeth
5. Bad breath
6. Bleeding and swollen gums
If you notice any of these signs in your pet you should take them so see your vet. Bad teeth affect more than your pet?s mouth. An infection in the mouth can spread to other parts of the body and affect many different organs like the heart, liver, and kidneys.
Talk to your Veterinarian at your next annual visit about cat and dog dental care
. A little prevention with a pet dental can go a long way.
To read more blog posts go here: Veterinary Blog
To sign up for my newsletter go here: Veterinary Newsletter