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  • Writer's pictureVillage Veterinary Clinic

Understanding Pet Dental Health:The Risks of Gum Disease

Your furball’s occasional stinky breath could be more than just a smelly inconvenience – it might signal gum disease. This little tidbit of knowledge isn’t something we found in a book or saw online but through personal experiences with our four-legged companions.

Shockingly enough, as many as 80% of dogs and cats show the telltale signs of oral disease by their third birthday cake celebration. This blog post aims to guide you on this often overlooked pet health issue – understanding gum disease, its causes and preventive steps, treatment alternatives available, and potential risks if left untreated. Read along so that your pet can keep flaunting its bright smile at you for many playful years ahead!

Understanding Gum Disease in Pets

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease, a common dental issue in pets, is an infection and inflammation of the tissues surrounding their teeth. It often starts with bacteria in the mouth, leading to tartar build-up.

This build-up then causes inflammation, known as gingivitis. If left untreated, it can advance into periodontal disease, where the gums and bone structures that support the teeth get dangerously affected.

Sadly, over 80% of dogs and 70% of cats suffer from some form of this disease by the time they’re just two years old. Thus, maintaining our pet’s oral health becomes essential not only for their comfort but also because it links to systemic diseases affecting their overall health and well-being.

Causes and symptoms of gum disease in pets

Gum disease in pets can have several causes and symptoms. Poor oral hygiene is a common cause, as plaque and tartar buildup can lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease. Other factors that contribute to gum disease include genetics, diet, and certain medical conditions.

The symptoms of gum disease in pets often include bad breath, swollen or bleeding gums, difficulty eating or chewing, tooth loss, and changes in behavior or appetite. Pet owners need to be aware of these signs so they can seek veterinary care promptly if necessary.

Neglecting the dental health of our furry friends can result in serious consequences such as pain, infection, and even systemic diseases affecting other organs of their bodies. Regular dental checkups and proper at-home oral care are crucial for preventing the development of gum disease in pets.

Prevention and Treatment of Gum Disease in Pets

Importance of routine dental cleanings

Routine dental cleanings are crucial for maintaining your pet’s oral health. They help prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. Dental cleanings performed by a veterinarian remove plaque and tartar buildup, which can lead to gum infection and tooth loss if left untreated.

By scheduling regular dental cleanings for your pet, you can ensure their teeth stay healthy and strong. Remember, prevention is key when it comes to your pet’s dental care!

At-home oral care for pets

Taking care of your pet’s oral health doesn’t stop at regular dental cleanings. At-home oral care is just as important as maintaining their overall dental hygiene. Brushing your pet’s teeth regularly is one of the most effective ways to prevent gum disease and other dental problems.

Use a toothbrush and toothpaste specifically designed for pets, as human products may be harmful if ingested. Aim to brush your pet’s teeth at least three times a week, or ideally every day. In addition to brushing, there are other at-home options you can try. Dental chews and treats can help reduce plaque and tartar buildup, promoting healthier gums and fresher breath for your furry friend.

Be sure to choose products that have been approved by veterinary professionals. Another option is using oral rinses or gels that are specifically formulated for pets.

Debunking dental myths

Many pet owners believe that their pets don’t need dental care, but this is a common myth. Neglecting your pet’s oral hygiene can lead to gum disease, bad breath, tartar build-up, and even tooth loss. It’s important to understand that dental disease is not uncommon in pets. So, it’s essential to prioritize regular dental check-ups and at-home oral care for our furry friends.

Veterinary dentistry and anesthesia

Veterinary dentistry and anesthesia play crucial roles in the prevention and treatment of gum disease in pets. During routine dental cleanings, veterinarians thoroughly examine your pet’s teeth, gums, and oral tissues to identify any signs of periodontal disease or other dental problems.

They may also take X-rays to assess the health of the tooth roots and surrounding bone. If necessary, veterinarians will perform dental procedures such as scaling to remove plaque and tartar buildup, polishing to smooth the tooth surfaces, or extractions for severely damaged or infected teeth.

Anesthesia is typically used during these procedures to ensure your pet’s comfort and safety. Regular veterinary dental care can help prevent gum disease complications and maintain your pet’s overall oral health.

Risks of not treating gum disease

Neglecting gum disease in your pet can have serious consequences. Without treatment, the infection and inflammation of the tissues surrounding their teeth can worsen over time, putting them at risk for tooth loss, bad breath, and tartar buildup.

Additionally, dental disease in pets has been linked to systemic diseases like heart and kidney problems. It’s important to address gum disease promptly to prevent these risks and ensure your pet’s overall health and well-being.

Don’t wait until it’s too late – take action now to protect your pet from the risks of untreated gum disease.

Say Goodbye To The Threat of Pet Gum Disease! 

Preventing and treating gum disease in pets is essential for their overall health and well-being. Neglecting their oral hygiene can lead to serious dental problems, including tooth decay, tartar build-up, and even tooth loss.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to protect your pet’s dental health—take action now to schedule a dental examination or treatment with Village Veterinary Clinic! 


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