There are evidences from the American Veterinary Dental College that claim pets are inclined to get oral diseases at a very young age of about 3 years. Hence, it is very important to have a good dental care regiment for them early on. There are lots of chew toys which are available to clean the teeth of your pets, but if you use good, old-fashioned tooth brushing it will save a lot of time and money. Dental problems can lead to serious infections and can even lead to heart, kidney or liver diseases. There are certain symptoms that suggest your pet is going through a dental problem. Let us look at some of these symptoms:
- Bad breath
- Cysts under the tongue
- Excessive drooling
- Inflamed gums
- Loose teeth
- Tumors in the gums
Let us now look at some of the common dental care problems in pets:
Periodontal disease is one of the most common dental care problems faced by pets. But it is entirely preventable. This disease starts when bacteria in the mouth of your pet forms a substance known as plaque that attaches to the tooth’s surface. As time passes the saliva hardens the plaque into tartar that firmly attaches to the teeth. As per American Veterinary Dental Society, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats showcase the signs of oral disease with periodontal disease which is most common in smaller breeds of pets. If your pets show any of the symptoms mentioned above immediately take them to the doctor.
Gingivitis is another common problem that brings a rough time for pets. The gums of the pet become inflated and appear to be reddening. This results into bad breath with red and inflamed gums. If you find any of these symptoms in your pet, rush to a veterinary physician immediately.
Caries also called as tooth decay, caries or cavities is the breakdown of teeth as a result of the high amount of bacterial presence in the mouth. The symptoms of this disease include pain and difficulty in eating. This disease is rarely found in dogs.
Feline odontoclastic resorption lesions
A resorption lesion is a dental deformity that is formed at the neck of the cat or at the bottom of the tooth. They are like cavities. They are rarely found in dogs, but are quite common in cats. If you find that your cat is suffering from Feline odontoclastic resorption lesions take them to the doctor immediately.
Oral cancers are head and neck cancers, which result in swellings/thickenings, lumps or bumps, rough spots/crusts/ or eroded areas of the lips, gums or other parts of the mouth. This disease can affect both dogs and cats. If they are not found at early stages, it can be very fatal for pets. If you see any of the symptoms mentioned above rush to a vet immediately and get your pet treated.
In order to avoid these diseases, it is very important for you as a pet-parent to take care of oral hygiene of your pet. The very first thing that can be done to ensure that your pet does not get the dental care disease is by providing them the right food. By right food we mean a well-balanced, protein rich diet. Dry food is highly recommended for such pets since it does not stick to the teeth of the pet. Your veterinary physician would be the best person to help you select the right food for your pet.
The next thing that can be done is to provide chewable treats to your pet so that they have adequate exercise of their teeth. Establish brushing regime of your pet. Although it would be difficult in the beginning after a period of time it will become quite easy and would enhance the overall health of your pet.
Conduct a regular dental care check-up of your pet so that their oral health is maintained. If you find anything wrong with their teeth do not hesitate in contacting the vet immediately.