If your pet's bad breath is knocking you over, it is probably time to get his teeth cleaned. Bad breath is an early warning sign of gingivitis and an indicator that excessive tartar has built up on your pet's teeth. The tartar is a breeding ground for bacteria, which can cause the bad breath.
Dirty teeth cause a domino effect. The bacteria also cause gum disease and can affect other organ functions. Because the bacteria are growing in the mouth, they are easily absorbed through the gums into the bloodstream, forcing the pet's heart, liver, kidneys and other organs to deal with potential infection.
Gingivitis, tooth decay, liver disease, kidney disease, and heart disease are just a few things we can prevent by keeping your pet's teeth clean. By the age of three more than 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show some sign of gum disease.
Without professional help from a veterinarian and your help at home, your furry friend could end up with gum disease, tooth problems or even health problems from bacteria in the mouth. As gum disease progresses, your pet experiences pain, damage to underlying bone and eventually tooth loss.
Unfortunately, animals will not sit still while the doctor scales and polishes their teeth, so a dental cleaning for your pet does require them to go under anesthesia. You have to schedule an appointment time and drop your pet off for the procedure. Usually, your pet will go home that same evening.
Dental x-rays will be done to detect problems below the surface. Many dental issues cannot be detected by just 'looking' at the tooth. With dental x-rays, the doctor can determine whether a tooth is healthy or diseased. Sometimes teeth have to be pulled. Your pet may be sent home with antibiotics and pain medications depending on the severity of the dental disease.
There are a number of things you can do at home to help prevent dental disease as well as products available to aid the fight.
First, teach your pet to allow you to brush his teeth. Use a soft bristle toothbrush and pet toothpaste, NOT human toothpaste because they cannot safely swallow it. At first, just let your pet lick and chew the tasty toothpaste off the brush. Once they are used to it, gently start a little brushing. Don't force it, keep it fun and go slowly.
There are a variety of products including dental chews, rinses and toys that can help promote dental health. OraVet is a gel that you apply to the gum line once a week to help prevent tartar buildup.
Check out the links below for more in depth information about your pet's dental health.
And remember, the next time your pet gives you a kiss and his/her breath knocks you over, give us a call to make an appointment for a dental scaling.
Feel free to call if you have any questions. If you would like a quote for your pet's dental scaling, please call us at (281)444-8387.