Happy 2017! The beginning of a new year always brings promise and hope for a healthier, happier life. Most people make resolutions to help them achieve their wellness goals. One resolution that should be on every pet owner’s list is to try to take better care of their furry companion’s teeth.
It is estimated that 80% of pet dogs and cats in Canada have some degree of dental disease by age 2. That means that 4 out of 5 pets are affected! Dental disease can have some pretty severe consequences other than just bad breath.
In veterinary medicine, we are finally realizing what human medicine has known for years: dental disease impacts the health of the whole body. Dental disease results from the presence of bacteria that is allowed to overgrow within the mouth, causing inflamed gums (gingivitis) and plaque and tartar development. That bacteria in the mouth gets absorbed through those inflamed gums and is allowed to travel throughout the body, showering your pet’s organs with potentially harmful bacteria. Dental disease has been associated with making heart disease worse and causing extra strain on the liver and kidneys as they work to remove those toxins from the body. Dental disease can make it difficult to regulate other diseases like diabetes, thyroid disease, and Cushing’s disease.
A complete dental exam and treatment under general anesthesia is a great way to assess all of your pet’s dental needs. It allows for the removal of visible plaque and tartar, as well as under the gumline, where we can’t see it. It also allows for the removal of diseased teeth if they are loose or fractured.
Home care is an integral part of keeping your pet’s mouth healthy. Brushing is best, using veterinary-specific toothpaste. There are several diets available that can aid in your pet’s oral health routine. Recently, a water additive called Healthy Mouth has proven to be an effective tool. The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) has placed their Seal of Approval on products available to help you keep your pet healthy.
Dental care is a vital part of your pet’s wellbeing. Contact the clinic today at 905-664-4888 to help get your pet started on the right oral hygiene track!
Written by Dr. Adriana Morganti