Did you know by three, most dogs and cats already have early-stage gum disease? Left untreated it causes bad breath, loose teeth, trouble eating and pain. What else didn’t you know about your pets dental health? April 11th is National Pet Day. As it approaches, let’s make a decision to learn more about our pets’ teeth and gums.
1. Gum Disease Is an Immune Response
When you, or your dog, let plaque on the teeth and under the gumline, it harbors lots of bacteria. Your immune system sees these bacteria as foreign invaders. The immune system uses inflammation to try to kill it and flush it out. But, overwhelmed, that inflammation causes a lot of pain, lost teeth and often other health problems in the heart, sinuses, joints and more.
2. They Won’t Tell You They’re in Pain
Your pet’s ancestors lived in the wild where crying in pain would draw in predators. Most dogs and cats try to hide their pain unless it’s overwhelming.
This makes it hard for you to know they need to see the vet.
3. You Can Identify Pet Dental Problems
Be aware of the warning signs:
Trouble picking up food
Blood in the water bowl
Bad breath (No, it’s not just normal!)
4. Prevention is Key
Brush their teeth. Start early if possible. But if you’re gentle, you can teach an older dog or cat to enjoy brushing. Feed them hard food unless gum disease is already advanced. Give dogs plenty of toys to chew on. Take your furry friend for regular dental screenings at your vet and while you’re at it, don’t forget to schedule your own.
We love every member of our family at Trident General Dentistry. While we don’t see pets we do provide great dental care for all those humans in your life. Call today to schedule your dental care appointment or learn more about our special offers here.