Our pets user their mouths like we do our hands! Imagine how painful it would be if we had to pick things up with sores or splinters all over. That is how it feels for pets who suffer from dental disease. Our pets are masters at hiding their symptoms; therefore, we must pay attention to what is above the gum line- but below it as well!
Does your pet have stinky breath? A few stains on their teeth? These might be the early signs of dental disease!
Dental disease is the infection of teeth and tissues in an animal’s mouth. It is caused by poor dental hygiene and a buildup of bacteria, and it is the leading cause of tooth loss in animals!
There are 4 stages of dental disease. *Please note that many images of dental disease are too graphic to show; therefore, we will show smiling pets. *
1. Gingivitis: During this stage, you will notice that your pet has swollen gums and stinky breath. Sometimes, their gums may even bleed.
2. Early Periodontitis: Visible tartar, a hard substance formed by bacteria, will appear on your pet’s teeth. They will begin to lose some of the bone mass in their jaws.
3. Moderate Periodontitis: Even more tartar will become visible, and your pet’s gums will begin to pull back from their teeth. They will continue to lose bone mass, bleed easily, and will likely require medical attention to remove rotten teeth. This is very painful! Photo by @seamus_and_angus
4. Severe Periodontitis: At this point, your pet will have lost more than half of the bone in their mouth. They will be in severe pain and require many tooth removals along with a professional cleaning. Bacteria from the mouth can enter the damaged gum tissue and cause infection throughout your pet’s body. At this point, dental disease becomes very scary and can be fatal to your pet.
Here are some quick tips to prevent dental disease, it is important to care for your pet’s dental health. Make sure to spray their gums with a pet-friendly mouthwash every day. Photo by @yyctoller
Also brush their teeth with a soft toothbrush and pet-friendly toothpaste. Schedule a dental exam and cleaning with your veterinarian at least once every year. Dental hygiene is important, so protect your pet’s pearly whites! Photo by Corridor Therapy Dogs