What are the signs of dental disease? As all pet owners know, our pet’s health is very important. What most pet owners don’t know is that dental health can greatly affect a pet’s overall health. Periodontal disease can result in gingivitis, missing or loose teeth and oral pain. Furthermore, the bacteria that contributes to dental disease can circulate in the bloodstream and cause microscopic damage to the heart, liver and kidneys, according to the Veterinary Oral Health Council® (VOHC).
Some common signs of dental disease are:
• Bad breath
• Broken/missing teeth
• Discolored teeth or tartar build up
• Abnormal chewing
• Excessive drooling
• Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
• Tenderness or bleeding around the mouth
• Shying away from the mouth being touched
Your pet’s teeth should be looked at by your veterinarian at least once a year. The most effective way you can help with your pet’s oral health at home is brushing his/her teeth. The brushing action, whether applied with a tooth brush or a soft medical gauze, disrupts the bacterial biofilm that leads to gum disease and tooth decay.
You can purchase pet tooth brushes and pet tooth pastes (do not use tooth paste meant for humans) at your local pet store or your veterinarian. Dental treats approved by the VOHC® can also be helpful for pets in good body weight. You can find a list of approved treats here: https://www.vohc.org/all_accepted_products.html
If you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s oral health, or you would like tips on how to brush your pet’s teeth, call us at (610) 494-5800.