Taking care of your pet's teeth could save their life
When was the last time you looked in your pet's mouth? Failure to consider their oral health may have consequences. Even though bad breath and tartar-covered teeth may not seem like a big deal, they can lead to serious health conditions.
Good oral health is just as important for your pet as it is for your family
A number of studies have determined that periodontitis (serious gum disease) and other oral infections may be contributing factors for systemic diseases — which means those that affect the whole body. These can include diseases of the kidney, liver, lung, and heart.
How Disease Starts From Teeth
Plaque that isn't removed from your pet's teeth hardens around the gum line and teeth, causing discolouration and irritated gums. That irritation can turn into inflammation, and a condition called gingivitis. You may notice signs of gingivitis it your pet's gums are red rather than pink, and their breath smells.
The longer the tartar is left there, the worse the condition may get. Eventually, the gums may start to pull away from the teeth and provide an opportunity for bacteria to get in. At this stage, your pet may be at risk of periodontal disease that results in infections, abscesses, bone loss, and loose teeth. As the gums break down, bacteria can be absorbed into your pet's bloodstream, putting major organs at risk of infection -unfortunately their immune system may not be strong enough to fight it.
Researchers are beginning to form a connection between some oral bacteria strains and the onset of heart disease. Some of these strains can promote blood clot formation leading to heart damage, while others can cause thickening of the artery walls.
Fortunately, the journey from poor oral health to systemic disease is not a fast one - you can do many things to reduce the risk of more serious problems.
Keeping Your Pet's Teeth Healthy
It's advisable to get your pet a thorough oral examination and clean. Vets can rectify any existing issues and alert you to any potential issues before they get worse. Preventative measures are essential. Ask us about vet-quality food, dental chews, and recreational bones that promote healthy teeth and gums. We can also advise you on brushing your pet's teeth; and how to check for problems, such as loose teeth and inflammation. Regular veterinary oral check-ups for your pet helps safeguard their overall health