Dental Disease in our Pets
Maintaining your dog’s dental care is more than just keeping bad breath at bay. The tartar that you can see building up on your dogs teeth is actually a biofilm full of bacteria. When those bacteria are allowed to grow to the levels we see in some of our dental disease patients, that patient’s immune system is continually being asked to fight off that infection. Their immune system never gets a break.
Small breed dogs are more prone to dental disease, but there are individuals of all sizes that are affected. Our goal is to tailor a dental health plan to each of our patient’s needs. Some dogs need to have their teeth cleaned every 6 months to maintain a healthy month. Others can go a year before they need them cleaned. In some cases, dogs can go several years between cleanings. We have no interest in putting our patients through unnecessary procedures, so rather than making a blanket statement about frequency, we want it to be want is needed for each individual. Occasional trips into the clinic for either a doctor or a technician to take a look can help you know if a dental procedure is needed.
Cats also struggle with dental disease though dental disease looks somewhat different in kitties. Often dental disease in cats will cause painful lesions that make kitties mouths very sore. Typically they will still eat their food, but they will choose to just swallow the kibble rather than chew it. However, the gingiva around the sore teeth becomes very red and inflamed. Chronically sore teeth can lead a kitty to have significant behavioral changes, often becoming more reclusive or even ill tempered.
Improved dental care for our patients is one of the reasons we have our pets living longer healthier lives.