Saturday, December 29, 2012

Dental Care

Is dental disease painful for pets?

Dental disease is painful for pets just as it is for people; however, pets are often better at hiding their pain than people are. When a pet receives dental therapy, the family usually notices the pet is much more playful, indicating

the degree of discomfort the pet had been experiencing.

Why does my pet have stinky breath?

Bad breath, or halitosis, is caused by bacteria in the mouth. The highest concentration of bacteria, and the biggest problem, is beneath the gum line.
In addition, bacteria are present on teeth; and, if there is bleeding from the gums, a thick layer of bacteria mingles with the blood.
Bad breath is a symptom of dental disease. Fix bad breath by fixing the teeth and gums.

Why do small breed dogs have more dental problems than large breed dogs?
For the past few hundred years we have bred some dogs to be smaller in size. The genes that control body size have been easier to influence than the genes that influence tooth size.
Thus, we have small-breed dogs whose mouths are full of teeth that remain genetically suited to a somewhat larger dog.

What causes tooth decay?
A thin layer of food particles, dead cells and proteins from saliva form plaque on the teeth and gums.
The plaque layer begins forming within 20 minutes of being brushed. Plaque thickens and hardens becoming a calculus unless it is removed by brushing.

Is dental plaque linked to heart disease?
Yes. The bacteria in plaque is linked to heart disease, heart attack, and cardiac arrhythmia.

Is dental disease linked to kidney disease, lung disease, and bladder infection? Yes. Pets can develop serious, even life-threatening, illness due to the bacteria in their mouths when they have dental disease.
Among the organs damaged by these oral bacteria are the kidneys, lungs, and bladder.

Why should I bother to brush my pet's teeth?
Your pet will have sweeter breath because brushing removes bacteria that cause odor.
Your pet will be happier because their mouth will be healthier. A healthy mouth affects the entire body.
You'll save money because your veterinary dental visits can be spaced further apart.
You'll save money on medications because a healthy pet requires less medication.

What are the 10 signs your pet has dental disease?

  • Bad breath
  • Drooling
  • Pawing the mouth
  • Change in eating habits
  • Not allowing face or mouth to be touched
  • Swelling on cheeks or below eyes
  • Draining face wound
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Weight loss

What can you do to prevent oral disease?
At minimum, your pet should have their mouth examined by a vet at least once a year. After your pet reaches 7 years old, they should be examined twice a year.