Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth: A Primer

We all love our pets, and we do our best to give them a happy and healthy life, but looking in their mouth may be one of the things we don’t even think about. Unless we’ve noticed less than fresh breath, so to speak, we may not realize that our pets have dental disease, one of the most common conditions affecting pets today.

So common, in fact, that by the age of 3, over 85% of pets have some form of dental disease. And dental disease is not only painful for your pet, it can cause swollen and bleeding gums, difficulty eating, bacterial infection in the mouth, and even systemic disease of the heart, liver, and kidneys.

In addition to regular dental exams and professional dental cleanings, brushing your pet’s teeth at home on a daily basis is one of the best ways to prevent the plaque and tartar buildup that causes dental disease. If you just rolled your eyes, laughed, or sighed when we mentioned brushing your pet’s teeth, bear with us! It’s really not as hard as you think, and we’re here to give you our best tips.

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Why does my cat need teeth extracted?

This radiograph shows 2 relatively healthy teeth next to a tooth so seriously affected by reabsorption that the crown of the tooth has broken off.

 

For cats, a disease known as tooth resorption is the most common reason for dental/tooth extraction. This is a progressively destructive condition causing irreversible damage to teeth. To date, the only appropriate treatment identified is the extraction of affected teeth.

 

 

 

 

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Dental Care for Pets

Dental care and dental health are as important for veterinary patients as for their human families. Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital provides comprehensive dental treatment tailored to the needs of each patient. Our licensed veterinary technicians and veterinarians are experienced in the diagnosis and management of oral diseases of cats and dogs.

pet dental disease

A dog with early periodontal disease characterized by tan tartar deposition on the teeth and slight redness of the gum line. This is an indication for dental cleaning.

The American Veterinary Dental College reports that the majority of cats and dogs will begin to develop periodontal disease by the age of three. Periodontal disease is a destructive inflammatory condition affecting both teeth and the surrounding gums.  Because diet and husbandry do not seem to significantly influence this occurrence, early recognition and appropriate treatment are our best tools to prevent progression of this disease and serious problems such as oral pain, tooth loss, and difficulty eating.  Studies in dogs have shown that periodontal disease is associated with microscopic changes in the heart, liver, and kidneys.

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