By: Tara Sansing
Does your pet have bad breath? Bad breath isn’t just unpleasant, it can be unhealthy! That odor might signify a serious health risk, with the potential to damage not only your pet’s teeth and gums but their internal organs as well!
Nearly 85% of dogs and cats over the age of 3 are affected by periodontal disease. In fact, dental disease is one of the most common conditions seen by veterinarians.
Have you looked in your pet’s mouth recently?
Periodontal disease begins when a combination of plaque, bacteria and food particles collect on the teeth and work their way up under the gum line. If left untreated, it can lead to the destruction of tissue and bone that anchor the teeth in place. Bacteria can also enter the bloodstream, affecting the heart, liver and kidneys.
Don’t let the fear of anesthesia stop you from getting your pet’s teeth cleaned.
To thoroughly examine your pet’s teeth and gums, properly get rid of nasty plaque and tartar and really clean their pearly whites, they will need to be anesthetized. Though sedating your dog or cat seems scary, it’s not as bad as it sounds—in fact, the procedure has never been safer. Prior to sedation, the doctor will perform blood work that will check your pet’s basic body functions and help us to determine whether or not your pet is healthy enough for sedation. Throughout the procedure, all pets are monitored closely by both a surgical technician and monitoring equipment.
Much like when we go to the dentist, the technician will scale and polish every tooth. Dental radiographs allow the doctor to see what is going on under the gum line and allows her to determine which teeth are damaged or unhealthy and need to be extracted.
When you think about it, the benefits of dental cleaning outweigh the possible risk of anesthesia. Not only will your pet’s breath smell better but her teeth will be shinier and healthier too! As an added bonus, maintaining healthy teeth and gums will help to protect your pet’s other organs, like the heart and kidneys from the damaging effects of dental disease.
Your pet has had their teeth cleaned, now what?
Imagine what would happen if you didn’t routinely care for your teeth in between professional dental cleanings. Pretty gross… right? Pets need dental care too!
We know how busy life can get and it can be hard to remember to care for your pet’s teeth on a daily basis but fortunately there are a large variety of products on the market today that aim for convenience as well as help prevent plaque and tartar buildup and combat bacteria in the mouth. Just like their owners, all pets should have a regular dental care regimen at home. Using one or a combination of these products on a regular basis will likely greatly reduce the amount of time needed between dental cleanings and will help to prevent periodontal disease.
Some of the many products available that support dental care and that we carry are:
Dental Diets- specially designed kibble promotes chewing/scraping of the teeth to create a brushing effect; special nutrients that break down plaque; high in omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients that help to make it a complete and balanced diet for adult dogs and cats
DentaHex Chews– specially coated with chlorhexidine (an antibacterial agent) that combats bacteria in the mouth; chewing helps to scrape plaque on the teeth; freshens breath
Enzadent Toothpaste- specially designed to prevent plaque and tartar build up when used on a regular basis; comes in poultry and vanilla mint flavors
DentaClenz – a drinking water additive that combats bacteria in the pet’s mouth as well as in the water bowl; freshens breath and creates a barrier that helps to prevent plaque from adhering to the surface of the tooth.
ChloraZinc Rinse-Antibacterial action and superior plaque prevention in a soothing, refreshing and palatable solution that quickly covers the entire mouth
Using one or a combination of these products on a regular basis will likely greatly reduce the amount of time needed between dental cleanings and will help to prevent periodontal disease.