According to the American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC), most cats and dogs show some signs of periodontal disease by the age of 3. Periodontal disease is the most common condition occurring in adult cats and dogs. Other than bad breath there are often few signs of the disease and a professional dental cleaning often comes too late to prevent extensive disease. As a result, periodontal disease is often under treated and can cause many problems that can be associated with damage to internal organs as the pets age.
The main problem develops as plaque and calculus spread under the gum line and if left untreated will eventually lead to tooth decay and loss. Studies have shown that bacteria from the mouth can enter the blood stream and can be carried all around the body. Periodontal disease has been associated with changes in the kidneys, liver and heart.
Warning Signs of Peridontal Disease inlcude:
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not “normal” for your pet to have bad breath. It may be common in pets, but that’s typically because the pet doesn’t get regular dental brushing and cleaning. Bad breath is the most frequent sign of dental problems. Bad breath could indicate the presence of periodontal disease. Even if it’s only mildly bad, it means bacteria is trapped in the pet’s mouth.
If you see your dog or cat having difficulty chewing their food or suddenly losing their interest and appetite, she might need urgent dental care. These symptoms can indicate oral infection or inflammation.
When your pet develops inflamed, swollen or bleeding gums, this is often a symptom of a bacterial infection. The inflammation can cause significant pain and discomfort, but can often be reversed by having a professional dental cleaning or removing an offending tooth.
Yellow and brown stains on the back of the pet’s teeth and around the gum line are signs of tartar build-up. These go hand-in-hand with bad breath and bacterial infections, but can usually be removed by a professional cleaning before they become problematic. Of course, if you’re brushing your pet’s teeth daily you can avoid this happening in the first place and maintain your pet’s general good health.
Loose and Broken Teeth
You might think it’s normal for your cat or dog to lose teeth as she gets older, but loose and broken teeth are often signs of a more serious dental issue. If bacteria has eaten away the binding that holds the tooth in place, an infection probably exists or is in the process of developing. A loose tooth can also be caused by chewing on something too hard, which might open the root of the tooth and result in infection. Any oral bacterial infection can spread to the rest of your pet’s mouth, and eventually to the rest of the body.
Tumors on Gums
Tumors or growths on your pet’s gums could be benign or malignant, and the only way to find out is to have her examined by a veterinarian without delay. If a tumor is found to be malignant, the treatment might require the removal of some of her teeth and/or a section of her jawbone. Pet parents who brush their dog’s or cat’s teeth daily are more likely to notice tumors in early stages, which is an additional reason to practice good pet dental care.
Pawing and Drooling
If your pet begins drooling excessively or pawing at their face, then they could have a dental abscess that is causing a lot of pain and discomfort. The carnassial tooth or fourth upper premolar tooth is particularly prone to developing abscesses, usually as a result of: trauma to the tooth, fighting, chewing hard items, and bacteria from periodontal disease.
Practicing regular pet dental care can prevent many of these problems. If your pet develops signs of dental disease, the sooner they receive treatment the more likely they are to heal completely.
Only your Veterinarian can tell you which treatment is appropriate for your pet. Even if your pet is not exhibiting any signs, they may still have dental disease.
East Chapman Veterinary Center offers non-anesthetic and surgical dental services. Speak to your veterinarian to determine which option is best for you.
Our unique non-anesthetic dental program will provide your pet with a safe and comfortable environment in which we can gently clean any build up above and below the gum line. We effectively machine polish your pet’s teeth to bring back the luster and shine and slow down future tartar buildup.
Dental cleanings under anesthesia are ideal for pets who need teeth pulled, are exhibiting pain or other issues that make it difficult to examine the mouth, severe peridondal disease, and other issues.
Get in Touch!
We look forward to welcoming you and your companion animal to East Chapman Veterinary Center. If you are ready to make an appointment, have any questions about the services we offer or want to know more about navigating your business, give us a call at (714) 633-9780. You can also use the contact form below to send us a message.
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