Dental health is a crucial component of your pet’s overall well-being, and regular dental care plays a pivotal role in maintaining their happiness and longevity. Recognizing signs that your pet may need a dental checkup is crucial. While annual wellness appointments include an oral exam, you should be vigilant for signs such as bad breath, diminished interest in food, weight loss, and red or irritated gums between these visits. Dental disease symptoms can be subtle, and early detection is essential, as dental problems may lead to issues with your pet’s organs, including heart disease.
Gingivitis and periodontal disease are prevalent dental conditions affecting around 80% of pets over three years of age. Regular dental exams play a vital role in preventing these conditions, as periodontal disease may have severe implications for your pet’s overall health. Recognizing the difference between gingivitis, the early stage of periodontitis, and more advanced periodontal disease is crucial for informed pet care.
When your pet undergoes a dental exam and cleaning, it’s important to understand the process involved. Pre-anesthetic lab work is conducted before the procedure to ensure your pet’s safety. The dental cleaning itself includes a comprehensive oral examination, evaluation of facial structures, intraoral structures, scaling, polishing, and essential dental X-rays. Sedation is necessary for this procedure, ensuring a thorough examination and dispelling the misconception of anesthesia-free dentistry, which poses significant risks.
Research highlights the impact of dental disease on pets, leading to oral infections, damage to teeth-supporting structures, painful abscesses, and potential systemic infections. Daily brushing, along with appropriate diets, is crucial for at-home care to minimize plaque and strengthen the bond with your pet. Recognizing red flags, such as bad breath, and consulting with your veterinarian for professional dental cleanings ensures the ongoing dental health of your furry friends.