Seeing as February is National Pet Dental Health month, there is no better time to be aware of what is happening with your pet’s teeth. You may not realize it, but your fur baby needs their teeth just as much as you need yours – to eat their food, but also to pick up and carry objects and even play games. After all, your canine companion can’t fetch a frisbee without healthy teeth to secure it and carry it back!
There are many different things you can do to support your pet’s dental health. The most obvious thing is brushing their teeth, which you should ideally do every day using a toothbrush and a veterinary toothpaste. You can also provide dental chews and ensure that your pet has regular dental check-ups and at least an annual professional dental clean with your vet. But why is your pet’s oral health so important? You might be surprised to learn that the answers to these questions are not dissimilar to why our own dental wellbeing is crucial.
Here are some of the most important reasons why you should be taking care of your pet’s teeth.
Yes, really. The biggest oral health problem facing our pets is periodontal disease, which is also referred to as dental disease. It is just like the human version of the condition, caused by plaque spreading onto the gum tissue and causing irritation. However, severe periodontal disease can lead to bacteria entering the bloodstream, traveling around your pet’s body, and affecting their major organs and body systems.
If you’ve ever experienced toothache you will know just how excruciatingly painful it can be. Whether it is a dull ache or a sharp, stabbing pain, it is extremely debilitating and can be frightening for your pet as they may not realize why they are hurting. If you take care of your pet’s teeth, you can prevent them from experiencing unnecessary suffering.
Animals are naturally inclined to try and mask any signs that they may be in pain so that they don’t appear vulnerable. The trouble with this is that both health and dental conditions can often become advanced before owners realize that there is a problem. This inevitably means that treatment is more complex and more expensive. However, this could be prevented with proper dental care.
Tooth loss doesn’t only affect humans. If our animals experience severe decay or develop advanced periodontal disease, they could be at a very real risk of losing their teeth. This could have an impact on the way that your pet eats as well as the other activities they enjoy. If your pet loses teeth, there is also the risk that others could move to take advantage of the space which could create a range of other dental issues.
Pet breath isn’t particularly nice at the best of times, but if your furry friend has dental problems, the smell emanating from their mouth can be stomach-churning. This is because bacteria emit unpleasant odors and the more bacteria that are present, the stronger this smell can be which can make spending time with your pet less than enjoyable.
For more information on the importance of taking care of your pet’s teeth, or for the support of our expert veterinary team, please contact our offices.