Is Your Pet’s Bad Breath Trying To Tell You Something? YES!
Believe it or not, a pet’s bad breath is one of the first signs of dental disease. Think of a pet’s mouth as the gateway to their overall health. From the things they eat (or shouldn’t have eaten), your pet’s mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria. Without regular brushing, as humans do, they develop bad breath due to the living, growing bacteria that enter the mouth. Over time this dangerous bacteria will cause tartar and plaque buildup, eventually leading to tooth decay, gum infections, and all types of periodontal diseases.
Bad breath is a pet’s way of telling you their health could be at risk. The longer the bacteria live and grow in the mouth, the more chance it can enter the bloodstream, making them susceptible to several illnesses - such as liver disease, heart disease, and kidney failure.
Think of your pet’s bad breath as the way that they tell you they need a good dental cleaning.
Signs of Dental Disease
It’s estimated that 85% of all pets have periodontal disease by the time they are 3 years of age. While periodontal disease is NOT reversible, a professional veterinary dental cleaning will help remove tartar from the teeth and gums, reversing gingivitis and slowing the progression of periodontal disease. Regular at-home follow-up will also help maintain your pet’s health between annual professional cleanings.
Frequent inspection of your pet’s mouth is important to catch dental disease in the early stages.
Tartar may appear as a brownish-gold buildup on the teeth, close to the gum line. Redness or bleeding along the gumline may indicate gingivitis. Other signs of dental disease include:
- Bleeding or red gums (or signs of blood on chew toys or in food and water bowls)
- Signs of irritation in the mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty eating
- Excessive drooling
- Loose teeth - or, at advanced stages, teeth falling out
- Bad breath
If you notice any of these signs in your pet, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.
Preventive Steps You Can Take
Helping your pet avoid the pain and damaging effects of advanced periodontal disease begins with regular clinic exams and annual cleanings. For older dogs, dental cleanings are recommended twice a year. In between these visits and dental procedures, regular brushing and healthy chew toys are additionally suggested.
More Than Cleaning
Today’s professional veterinary cleaning involves more than just cleaning teeth. The addition of our new, state-of-the-art dental x-ray equipment provides dental radiographs (x-rays) that offer an improved method of detection and care for your pet. X-rays can also detect a tooth abscess. An abscess is an infection that forms around a tooth. This happens when a tooth breaks if periodontal disease is present. Other dental problems that x-rays can uncover include, impacted teeth, dead teeth, retained root fragments, and oral cancer.
Dental cleaning for a cat or dog has become a routine procedure. Your pet is given general anesthesia to help them remain still while they have their teeth cleaned. This is for their safety and comfort. All pets are closely monitored every step of the way by our doctors and staff, ensuring the full recovery of our furry friends.
Dental x-rays are also part of a comprehensive oral exam each pet receives when they undergo
dental care (such as a professional dental cleaning). While the pet is under general anesthesia - a thorough exam is performed, including x-rays. This helps the vet see issues that otherwise could go unseen or untreated through a visual exam only.
Professional Dental Cleaning Is Safe and 20% off This Month
There is no doubt a professional dental cleaning provides your pet with important protection for their overall health and happiness. By removing tartar and plaque from their teeth and the bacteria under their gums, you significantly reduce potential infection to their mouth and other vital organs. Dental cleaning also helps protect your pet from pain and tooth loss.
During the month of October, our professional pet dental cleaning is 20% off! For more information on dental cleaning and to schedule your pet’s cleaning, call (205) 967-7383. There is limited availability, so call today.
Julie Grimes, DVM