Dental disease affects the teeth, gums and structures that support and surround a pet's teeth. It begins with plaque buildup on the teeth. This plaque contains bacteria and food particles. Plaque that stays on the teeth hardens into tartar. When tartar is above the gum line, it's easily visible, and your veterinarian can remove it relatively easily during a professional dental cleaning.
However, looks can be deceiving. A set of pearly whites doesn't necessarily mean that your pet's mouth is healthy. Tartar that makes its way below the gum line is the real problem. Tartar below the gum line causes inflammation and not only damages the structures supporting the teeth but also causes infection. When dental disease reaches this stage, pets can experience serious dental problems and pain.
Signs that your pet has dental disease:
As a pet parent, you certainly want your pet to have a healthy mouth. Here are 5 reasons why good dental care is important:
Dental care for pets includes not only annual professional dental cleanings done at a veterinarian’s office but also regular at-home dental care. Here are a few things you can do at home to help maintain your pets teeth:
Professional pet teeth cleanings require general anesthesia to allow your veterinarian to clean above and below the gum line and ensure that your pet's entire mouth is cleaned. So, talk with your veterinarian to figure out the best options for your pet’s dental care routine.
For The Love of Alex Inc is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides emergency funding for urgent and lifesaving care of pets of low-income families.