As you might expect, proper dental care is important if your pet’s teeth are to remain healthy and functioning properly for as long as possible.
If your furbaby experiences dental problems then she may find it difficult to bite and chew her food, or it may be too painful for her to eat whatsoever. Her teeth could become loose or even fall out, compromising the way in which she uses her mouth. This could leave her feeling vulnerable since most animals depend on their teeth as a line of self-defense as well as for practical reasons such as eating and picking up items.
However, it isn’t just the function of your pet’s teeth that you need to worry about if her oral hygiene isn’t up to scratch. This is because dental health has been shown to have a direct impact on the overall health and wellbeing of our bodies – and that of your precious furbaby.
Why Is Proper Dental Care Important for My Pet’s General Health?
Our mouths are packed full of bacteria, some of which are good and others which are bad for our bodies. It is essential that you keep the number of bad bacteria under control as it is when they are left to multiply beyond the norm that health problems can occur. These bacteria will begin to form a film over the top of your teeth. This film is called plaque and contains acids that can start to erode your pet’s teeth.
When the bacteria that are in the plaque eventually die, they become calcified by the calcium that naturally forms part of your pet’s saliva. When this happens, the plaque turns into calculus which is even harder to remove from your pet’s teeth and requires special tools to do so. This calculus can also irritate your pet’s gums, causing them to become sore, swollen, and red. They may also bleed when your pet eats or when you clean her teeth. This is known as gingivitis and is the earliest stage of dental disease.
Dental Disease and Your Pet’s Health
Dental disease is a serious problem affecting animals and is more often diagnosed than virtually any other dental problem. It occurs when the gingivitis is not treated and the gums become infected, causing abscesses and further debilitating symptoms such as foul breath, severe dental pain, and tooth loss to occur. Eventually, the bacteria causing the infection pass into the bloodstream where they have access to your pet’s major organs and key body systems and can cause them to become damaged. This could affect your pet’s overall health. Animals that are diagnosed with dental disease are significantly more likely to suffer from medical conditions including diabetes mellitus, kidney disorder, heart disease, and oral cancers.
If your pet doesn’t receive proper dental care from a trained and experienced pet dentist, she could be at risk of suffering from a range of potentially painful and debilitating issues that will affect her teeth, her oral health, and her overall wellbeing.
What Can I Do to Help Ensure that My Pet Receives Adequate Dental Care?
Fortunately, there are a number of steps that you can take to ensure that your pet’s dental health is the best it can be and reduce her risk of developing associated conditions. These include:
- Brushing her teeth regularly at home (using a veterinary toothpaste since human varieties are toxic to animals)
- Providing chew toys and dental sticks
- Opting for a healthy, nutritious, and good quality food for your pet
- Visiting your pet dentist regularly for her dental check-ups
- Ensuring that your pet attends her regularly scheduled professional dental cleans
If you have further questions about the importance of dental care for your pet’s overall health and wellbeing, our team would be happy to give you their support. Please contact Prestige Pet Resort & Spa in Gainesville, FL at (352) 505-5304.