February is National Pet Dental Month!
Dental health is a very important part of your pet's overall health. Dental disease can contribute to and, in some cases, be caused by other health problems. This is why we perform an oral examination on your pet every time he or she comes in for an office visit!
Causes of dental disease
When we think of dental disease in humans, most of us think of cavities. While cavities can occur in dogs and cats, they are much less common. We do, however, share many similar dental problems, such as:
Periodontal disease is the most common dental condition in dogs and cats, an in fact, one of the most common diseases treated by veterinarians, period. Most pets will show signs of periodontal disease by 3 years of age. If untreated, periodontal disease can progress to a much more painful condition, and can ultimately result in problems with the liver, kidneys, and heart.
Periodontal disease starts with plaque. If plaque is left on the teeth it hardens into tartar. Tartar can be seen not only above the gumline, but below it as well. It is this "invisible" tartar that can result in infection and severe damage to the root and surrounding bone, ultimately requiring extraction of any affecting teeth.
Early periodontal disease can be treated by a thorough dental cleaning (under anesthesia, click here for more information as to why). Dental x-rays can also help to determine the extent of periodontal disease and whether or not extraction of affected teeth may be needed.
Signs of dental disease:
Your pet should evaluated by a veterinarian if you notice any of the following:
Periodontal disease is preventable! Daily brushing is the single most important thing in keeping your pet's mouth healthy. Just like us, your pet will still require regular cleanings by your veterinarian, but daily brushing can significantly reduce the frequency of such procedures.
Monday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Tuesday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Wednesday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Thursday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Friday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Saturday 8:00 am to 12:00 pm
Arlington Animal Clinic
Arlington, MA 02474
Phone: (781) 646-0758
Fax: (781) 646-8724