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Preventing Dental Disease in Your Pets

It's easy to underestimate the importance of pet dental health. After all, most pets don't regularly show their teeth during the normal course of a day, so it's hard to see if anything is wrong with them unless you make a point looking at them. Pets also tend to resist this sort of looking and react by clenching their mouths closed. With these obstacles, it's no wonder that most people don't commonly look into their pets' mouths. Unfortunately, one of the biggest side-effects of this is the unnoticed development of pet dental disease.

Kitten getting its teeth examined.

What Types of Dental Diseases do Pets Get?

In most cases, pets are the most susceptible to the same dental diseases that are common in humans: gingivitis and periodontitis. Both are caused by inadequate oral hygiene in the vast majority of cases. This is why veterinarians recommend that you brush your pets' teeth if you can safely do so. In fact, there are special toothpaste and brushes made just for dogs, cats, and other animals to help with this activity.

Pets, especially dogs, are also subject to tooth problems that are rarer in humans. Broken and chipped teeth are likely at the top of this list. Dogs like to bite and chew things, but sometimes, those things do not yield to the tooth strength of the animal. When that happens, one or more teeth may be broken or chipped. It's important to get teeth with this sort of damage pulled or repaired in order to prevent infection of the tooth roots and the possible development of abscesses. Abscesses are infected areas in or near the jawbone. Not only are they highly painful, they can spread the infection to critical organs and cause extreme illness or death if left untreated for too long.

How Can Pet Dental Disease be Avoided?

The best way to avoid pet dental disease is to schedule your companion for regular dental cleanings at your veterinarian in Ferndale. These cleanings follow the same process as the ones for humans, with the exception that the pet will be sedated or anesthetized during the procedure. The sedation is needed simply because pets don't understand the process like humans does, so they would be unduly agitated by this amount of contact with their mouths. Once the procedure is done, they are brought back to full awareness and can then happily enjoy their clean teeth.

To get a dental evaluation for your pet or set up an appointment for a cleaning, just call us here at Animal Hospital of Sullivan County in Ferndale, NY. We'll be glad to help your companion avoid pet dental disease.

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