More Than Meets the Eye: The Subtle Power of Routine Pet Dental Care

Pet owners are sometimes more familiar with their pet’s mouth than they might prefer. Among us, who hasn’t caught a whiff of kitty or puppy breath right in their face? Whether it’s a post-run pant or during a sweet snuggle session, dog and cat breath can be undeniably potent.

Pet dental care encompasses daily brushing at home and professional cleanings, but when it comes to what’s happening beneath the gums, digital radiographs hold the key.

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Pet Dental Health: The Down and Dirty of Your Dog’s Teeth

Loree W. Hebert, Jr., DVM

It’s likely you’ve never thought much about your dog’s dirty teeth but pet dental care is actually a very important part of maintaining your dog’s health. Just like humans, pets accumulate bacteria on their teeth which can migrate beneath the gums and cause serious health problems, such as tooth loss and damage to organs including the kidney, liver, spleen, and heart valves.

The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of periodontal disease by the age of 3.

As a pet owner, you may notice bad breath, a broken tooth, dirty teeth or signs of a painful mouth. These can be signs of progressing dental disease, but dental disease may be present even without these signs, since the actual damage is occurring along and beneath the gumline. Continue…