Who doesn’t wants to keep their pet’s teeth healthy? Common dental issues in pets you need to know
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Like humans, a pet’s mouth needs regular cleaning for optimal oral health and well-being. However, pets do not receive the dental care they require for healthy teeth and gums, resulting in various dental problems. Untreated dental problems can have severe consequences for your pet’s health. Keep reading to learn about the common dental issues in pets and how to avoid them.
- Gingivitis is a common dental condition in pets, characterized by inflammation, redness, and swelling of the gums, which can lead to bleeding. Although gingivitis is a mild gum disease, it can cause discomfort and pain in cats and dogs. Gingivitis is caused by plaque accumulation on the tooth surfaces due to bacterial growth in the mouth. The bacteria in the mouth utilize sugars from food to produce acids that erode tooth enamel.
With time, plaque accumulation can penetrate beneath the gums, leading to inflammation and swelling. Therefore, prompt treatment of gingivitis is essential to avoid the progression of the disease. Good home dental care or professional scaling and polishing can effectively treat gingivitis. However, delaying treatment can lead to more significant oral health concerns for your pet.
- Tooth resorption is a dental condition more commonly seen in cats than in dogs. It is also one of the most common dental issues affecting cats, and most cats over the age of 5 experience it at some point. This condition occurs when the hard tissue beneath the tooth enamel is damaged, resulting in resorptive lesions that can be extremely painful for your pet.
Left unchecked, the tooth structure will continue to weaken and decay, potentially leading to tooth fractures and exposing sensitive nerves. Unfortunately, tooth resorption can be challenging to detect in its early stages as the lesions often don’t appear until the condition is quite advanced. As a result, reversing the damage can be challenging, and the most common solution is extracting the affected tooth.
- Periodontal disease (gum disease) can lead to the development of oral infections. Bacteria can accumulate around the roots of teeth, leading to an infection that can result in tooth root abscesses and pain. Tooth infections can have a significant impact on your dog’s overall well-being.
In addition, studies show a link between periodontal disease and heart disease in dogs. This happens when bacteria from the mouth enter the bloodstream, affecting the heart’s function and other organs.
- Daily activities like chewing food, carrying toys or sticks, and other objects can lead to tooth damage. While worn teeth and tooth fractures are commonly observed in dogs, cats can also experience these issues. Fortunately, pet parents can take a few simple steps to protect their pets’ teeth or slow down the wear and tear. For example, giving your dog a bone may seem like a good idea, but objects like bones and antlers can significantly contribute to tooth damage.
In addition, hard pet toys, balls, and sticks can also break or wear down your pet’s teeth. Limiting your pet’s chewing habits to soft toys and chews is the best approach. If your dog likes to play outside, or you have a yard, try to keep bones, sticks, and stones out of reach. These measures can help protect your pet’s teeth and ensure long-term dental health.
Book an appointment with Autumn Trails and Veterinary Center to treat pet periodontal disease or professional tooth extraction. We perform dental services to keep your pet’s mouth looking and feeling great. We are located in Charlottesville, VA. Appointments are conveniently available; call us at 434-971-9800.