November 17, 2015
Routine dental care for your pets:
We often get the question “Why does my pet’s breath smell so bad.” Well, the answer is pretty simple….how bad would your breath smell if you didn’t brush your teeth!?
Most pets over the age of 3 have some form of dental disease. Plaque builds up on the teeth, and within 48 hours that plaque is converted to tartar (the brown discoloration on the teeth). Having plaque and tartar sitting near you gums can result in inflammation (gingivitis) and ultimately gum and bone loss in the mouth. If this goes unchecked, often the only thing we can do is remove the diseased teeth.
Prevention is the best medicine. The ideal method of at home dental care is daily to every other day brushing. Any longer than 2 days between brushings, there is minimal benefit. Since most of us don’t brush our pet’s teeth, there are several products to help delay the need for another dental cleaning (or the loss of teeth). There are several chew treats that help scrape plaque and slow the build-up of tartar. We like CET rawhide chews, or VeggiDENT chews. Most dogs love both of these treats, and the CET chews have a built in enzyme “toothpaste.” There is a CET Cat Chew for our feline friends. Royal Canin also produces a dental health diet, which is uniquely designed to provide triple action dental care to help prevent the accumulation of plaque, tartar, gingivitis and halitosis. Lastly, water additives such as the BIOTENE product can help decrease plaque levels. All of these small things can help to slow the build up of tartar, but something must be done every day to every other day, or else the tartar will start to accumulate. Visit the VOHC.org website to read more about at home dental care, and treats that are also recommended.
Prevention isn’t always enough. A full dental cleaning including dental X-rays should be performed once the dental disease advances to a certain point. This involves scaling every tooth above and below the gum line, a full examination of the mouth and all aspects of the teeth, and X-rays to make sure there isn’t disease forming below the gum line where we cannot see. Once all of the diseased teeth are addressed, a cleaning is performed and followed by a high speed polishing to repair the enamel.
If you have concerns about your pet’s oral health call Dr. Krakowski, Dr. Bailey, or Dr. Craddock to discuss it further!
Please call our Cary veterinarian Dr. Krakowski, Dr. Bailey,
or Dr. Craddock at Chatham Animal Hospital today at
(919) 469-8114 if you would like to discuss this further!