February is National Pet Dental Health Month
Up to 80% of dogs and cats over 3 years of age have some degree of periodontal (gum) disease. Left untreated, this will lead to infection in the mouth and possibly tooth decay and tooth loss. Dental disease can also result in the spread of bacteria which can affect the internal organs (particularly the heart, liver and lungs) and overall health of your pet.
Prevention is most important and should involve regular brushing (using non-fluoridated pet-appropriate toothpaste). There are also several treats, toys, rinses and diets that can help reduce plaque and tartar buildup.
Symptoms of dental disease include bad breath; red, swollen gums; plaque and tartar on the teeth; and possibly loose or missing teeth. If tartar is already present, the only way to effectively treat is with a thorough dental cleaning by your veterinarian. It is necessary to do this under anesthesia in order to evaluate the entire oral cavity and adequately clean all surfaces of the tooth including under the gumline.
Regular checkups with your veterinarian are the best way to diagnose, treat and prevent dental disease. If your pet is due for a checkup, call Wilsonville Veterinary Clinic today at (503) 682-3737 to schedule your next appointment.
Wilsonville Veterinary Clinic
9275 SW Barber St, Wilsonville, OR 97070