Why Dental Care Is Important for Overall Pet Health
Dental disease is one of the most untreated conditions among cats and dogs. Experts confirm that it affects eight out of 10 pets. It’s also worth noting that between 70 and 85 percent of all cats and dogs aged older than two years suffer from some form of gum disease. Does your animal companion have bad breath or tartar-covered teeth? Maybe you’ve seen them drooling or dropping food from their mouth. Well, there’s a reason why February is observed as the National Pet Dental Health Month. If you’re not sure what role dental care has on your pet’s overall health, read on to find out.
Gum Disease and Its Impact on Other Organs
Periodontal disease is an infection caused by bacteria. These microorganisms are found on your pet’s teeth and periodontium, which are tissues that surround the teeth. Over time, the sticky biofilm known as dental plaque hardens and turns into tartar. As plaque and bacteria in your cat’s or dog’s mouth build up, toxins are produced, which destroy your pet’s gums and teeth.
Like in humans, periodontal disease is not confined merely to the mouth. Your pet may also feel the adverse effects of this dental issue throughout their body. Without prompt treatment, the disease can be a chronic source of infection elsewhere in the body, causing harm to other organs.
As previously mentioned, periodontal disease is caused by bacteria. Its toxins destroy your pet’s gums and teeth. But not just that. Each time your four-legged best friend inhales, it’s also breathing in toxins into its respiratory system. When your cat or dog swallows, it’s also gulping down the bacteria into its gastrointestinal tract. As your pet eats, the toxins from the periodontal disease enter their bloodstream. Over time, the infection will cause heart, lung, liver, kidney, or gastrointestinal conditions, or worse, organ failure. These health problems get worse as your animal companion ages. The only way to keep periodontal disease from wreaking havoc on your pet’s overall health is by practicing dental hygiene early on.
Essential Tips to Care for Your Cat’s or Dog’s Oral Health
Maintaining your pet’s oral health is a crucial part of their healthcare routine. Here are some at-home care ideas to help you ensure that your beloved furry companion stays healthy and happy:
Visit your veterinarian regularly for professional pet teeth cleaning.
Clean your pet’s mouth every day. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush or a finger brush as well as a toothpaste specially formulated for pets.
Feed your cat or dog a special dental diet. Some pet foods and chew treats provide better mechanical cleansing of your pet’s teeth. Consult with your vet if it’s right for your animal companion.
Never skip your pet’s veterinary examinations. Annual vet checkups are necessary to examine and monitor your fur pal’s dental health. Your vet will make recommendations depending on their findings to ensure that your pet’s dental health needs are met. Regular vet exams are also a critical measure to prevent dental diseases.
Don’t wait for dental infections to affect your pet’s overall health. At Port Royal Veterinary Hospital, we can assess your cat’s or dog’s oral health and provide early treatment if necessary.
Find out more about the importance of dental care for your pet’s health, contact Port Royal Veterinary Hospital in Port Royal, SC at (843) 379-7387.