The importance of oral health on our pets’ health is something that most of us did not appreciate in the past. Oral health can have direct impact on our pet’s heart, kidneys, appetite, and even behavior. Periodontal disease is common amongst our cats and dogs. 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have periodontal disease by their 2nd birthday. Gum disease gives direct access to the bloodstream for bacteria to spread and infect your pet’s heart, liver, and kidneys.
The key to oral health is prevention. Tarter and plaque works the same in our pets and can begin forming within 24 hours. Thus, the best and most effective prevention is daily teeth brushing with a pet-friendly toothpaste. Another option is VOHC-approved dental chews, rinses, and water additives, which you can find at Tender Care Veterinary Center. The VOHC, Veterinary Oral Health Council, provides a list of products that have been proven to help prevent dental disease.
So, what can you do if your pet is already experiencing periodontal disease? Periodontal treatments are performed here at Tender Care Veterinary Center. This includes teeth cleaning to remove the plaque and tarter, full mouth x-rays to evaluate below the gum line, an exam by a veterinarian, and polishing.
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Wiggs RB, Lobprise HB. Periodontology. Veterinary Dentistry, Principals and Practice. Philadelphia: Lippincott – Raven, 1997, pp 186-231.