Why is dental health so important? Unlike people, most dogs and cats do not brush their teeth daily or go to their dentist twice a year. So what happens when they have an issue in their mouth? Often, at first, the pet is not showing symptoms and the issue will brew until it becomes a bigger deal like a an abscessed tooth. You may also notice reluctance to eat, difficulty chewing, or excess drooling. Also, don't forget, pets are very good at hiding their symptoms.
The American Medical Veterinary Association (AVMA) started this awareness campaign in response to the startling statistic that up to 80% of cats and dogs have at least a mild form of gum disease by age three. This causes bacteria to attack the gum tissue and can lead to tooth loss, infection, and numerous other serious health conditions.
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, starts when food debris and bacteria build up on tooth surfaces and eventually get underneath the gum tissues. If bacteria reach the bloodstream, it can cause problems with your pet’s kidneys, liver, or heart.
We want to keep our pets healthy and comfortable, so we recommend regular veterinary exams to try and catch problems before they become a bigger problem. Untreated dental disease can cause your pet pain when they eat, chew, or play. During dental exams under full sedation we can often find problems that weren’t evident when the pet was awake.
As with all medical care, prevention is the best treatment, not only for your pet’s overall health, but for their dental health as well. Without proper care, a preventable problem can become a major debilitating or life-threatening problem.
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