Most people brush regularly and take care of their teeth to avoid needing fillings and because dental work can be painful and cost a lot of money. It’s too bad people don’t think about their pet’s teeth in the same manner. Usually a pet is brought to the vet only after an infection starts and is evident or when the pain is noticeable because the pet can’t chew well.
Your pet’s mouth is similar to that of a human. Their teeth can build up to plaque, tartar and bacterial infections. They can also get periodontal disease, a condition where bacteria growing under the gum can destroy the substructure enough so that it can’t hold the teeth in place anymore. If a tooth is cracked or chipped, which is often the case with dogs; bacteria can migrate deeper into the gums and cause swelling or an abscess. If the abscess is bad enough, it can cause teeth to be extracted.
It’s estimated that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral and dental diseases by the age of three. With daily brushing and a change in diet to one that promotes dental wellbeing in your pet a lot of this problem can be solved and your pet’s teeth will be all the better for it.
Routine dental care can help improve overall health and longevity of a pet by minimizing or preventing dental disease and it can also aid in the early detection of the disease to make it easier to work on.
Also, to prevent serious health issues stemming from oral and dental disease, pets should be evaluated on a regular basis. The most effective preventative treatment for dental disease is a professional teeth cleaning. With this procedure, the professional can fully assess the pet’s dental health, take x-rays if needed, remove the tartar and plaque from the teeth and then polish them.
In 2008, data was obtained to show that of the 466,000 pets insured nationwide by just one insurance company, claims for dental conditions were ranked the 11th most common type of claim. Along these lines, insurance riders can be purchased to include dental care and some offer a $100 rebate for a professional dental cleaning.
There are many websites that promote good oral hygiene for pets and some will even supply educational videos and pamphlets that discuss the importance of preventive dental health for pets.