Imagine what your mouth would feel like if you never brushed your teeth or visited the dentist. That sticky, painful mess is the unfortunate reality for most cats and dogs. Thankfully, however, more and more pet owners are learning about the importance of professional dental care and at-home oral hygiene for their pets.
At Frisco Pet Hospital, Dr. Moore and the rest of our team are pleased to provide our patients with professional dental cleanings and examinations in addition to pet parent education to help you learn how to care for your pet’s teeth at home.
Why Dental Care Is Essential for Pet Wellness
Dental care not only keeps your pet’s breath fresher but also protects your pet’s health from the perils of periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is a bacterial infection of the gums – the same kind of infection that humans can get when they don’t brush their teeth well enough. Gum disease develops when plaque and tartar accumulate along the gum line, creating pockets between the teeth and gums where harmful bacteria thrive.
Periodontal disease causes pain, bleeding gums, bad breath, and tooth loss. Left untreated, gum disease can also lead to systemic health problems when bacteria from the gum infection enter the bloodstream and travels throughout the body, leading to general inflammation, heart disease, organ damage, and even death.
Unfortunately, an estimated 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of periodontal disease by the time they reach age 2.
How to Prevent and Treat Periodontal Disease in Pets
The best way to manage or hopefully prevent periodontal disease in pets is by adding a good oral hygiene routine to your pet’s regular care.
At home, you can brush your pet’s teeth (daily is ideal but weekly might be more realistic), provide your pet with dental-friendly treats and toys, and even ask the veterinarian about dental-friendly kibble, water additives, and more.
We also recommend that dogs and cats visit our veterinarian annually for a professional teeth cleaning and examination.
Pet Dental Care at Frisco Pet Hospital
A pet dentistry appointment is similar to a person’s in that we scale and polish your pet’s teeth and also examine them for signs of more serious problems that might require a tooth extraction or prescription for antibiotics. Pet dentistry is different in that, for the pet’s comfort and safety, appointments occur with pets fully sedated under general anesthesia.
To learn more about pet dentistry at Frisco Pet Hospital, we welcome you to contact our office today.