National Pet Dental Health Month is sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to help remind pet owners that brushing your pet's teeth
is good for both your pet's health and your budget!
Like with humans, dental health for your pets begins
at home and is vital for their overall wellbeing.
"Routine cleanings not only can help prevent periodontal disease and save money in the long run, but also allow for a complete oral examination that can detect hidden health problems," said Dr. Jeannine Kinney, of Oak Creek Small Animal Clinic. "Brushing your pet's teeth is the single most effective way to maintain dental health between professional dental cleanings."
Doctors Kinney and Kress have additional training in advanced dentistry and are supported by an
experienced specialist-trained staff.
The four stages of periodontal disease
STAGE 1 PERIODONTAL DISEASE: There is visible tartar buildup on the teeth and slight swelling and redness of the gums.
STAGE 2 PERIODONTAL DISEASE: The gums are more swollen and there can be mild loss of bone around the tooth roots (only visible on x-rays).
STAGE 3 PERIODONTAL DISEASE: Might not look much different from stage 2 based on looking at the teeth, but x-rays show more severe bone loss.
STAGE 4 PERIODONTAL DISEASE: This is the most severe type, with severe tartar accumulation, receded gum lines, tooth damage, and bone loss.
Doggy breath is nothing to smile at.
"Bad breath can be a sign of dental problems and might also signify other serious health risks, with the potential to damage not only a pet's teeth and gums, but its internal organs as well," said Dr. Joe De Jong, president of the AVMA. "Your pet's teeth and gums should be checked regularly by your veterinarian for early signs of a problem and to keep your pet's mouth
While regular dental checkups are essential to help maintain your pet's dental health, there are a number of signs that dental disease has already started. If you notice any of the symptoms below, take your pet in to your veterinarian immediately:
Red swollen gums
Bad breath (similar to the smell of a rotten egg)
Teeth that are broken, loose, discolored or covered in tartar
Abnormal chewing, drooling or dropping food from the mouth
Bleeding from the mouth
Shying away from you when you touch the mouth area
Frequent pawing or rubbing at the face and/or mouth