Understanding the Risks of Poor Dental Hygiene for Your Pet

Is brushing your pet’s teeth as important to your daily routine as brushing your own?  It is easy to overlook regular oral health care for our pets, but poor dental hygiene comes with several major health risks. Understanding proper oral health care for your pet is a vital part of keeping your pet healthy, playful, and comfortable for a long life. Oral health care includes regular visits to your DFW area veterinarian as well as at-home dental care.


Dental Care for Dogs

Periodontal Disease

Dogs and cats rarely get cavities like people do. Instead the main problem they face is periodontal disease – infection and inflammation of the gums. A vast majority of dogs and cats are at risk for the early stages of periodontal disease by age three. Periodontal disease affects the gums and causes painful infections and inflammation in the gum and supporting tissues. This can lead to tooth loss, bleeding gums, bad breath, and pain. Gum disease can lead to irritability and bad eating habits in your pet.  Visiting your vet regularly for dental exams  and cleanings can prevent these problems.

Tooth Decay

Without regular cleanings to eliminate plaque, tartar, and bacteria above and below the gum line, your pet’s teeth will gradually begin to loosen in their sockets and could devlope cavities. This decay eventually leads to major infections, tooth loss, and gum problems. These problems can result in grumpiness, decreased playfulness, and long-lasting pain in the mouth. Oral health care protects teeth and gums from decay and inflammation, which will keep your pet’s health at its best throughout its life.

Spreading Infection

Infections within the mouth are especially risky because of how easily they can spread to other vital organs. Dental disease has been linked, in humans, or animals, or both, with these problem areas:

  • Heart valve infections
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Septicemia (blood poisoning)
  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
  • Reproductive derangements such as low birth weight, premature birth
  • Difficulty controlling Diabetes
  • Chronic pain

Poor dental care decreases pet wellness and increases the risk of serious and potentially deadly diseases and infections. Since these infections can spread quickly and our pets cannot speak directly to us, a pet’s health can very quickly decline, sometimes before a pet owner even realizes there is a serious problem.

If you are concerned that your pet is at risk of complications due to poor oral hygiene, schedule a pet wellness appointment with your Dallas vet. Call  Preston Road Animal Hospital  of Dallas at (972) 239-1309 or  Meadow Brook Animal Hospital  at (972) 529-5033 to schedule an examination today.

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