Not dealing with a pet’s dental problems, like neglecting any infection, can lead to serious consequences. Prompt attention will make a pet more pleasurable to be around, prevent infection from spreading through the bloodstream into the liver, kidneys, and heart valves, help to prevent tooth loss, and prevent the pet from experiencing further pain.
When your pet is in for a yearly health assessment, the veterinarian will evaluate your pet’s oral health. If treatment is necessary, the pet’s oral health will be graded as follows:
Grade 1 disease
initial gum disease and periodontitis
Grade 2 disease
early gum disease and periodontitis
Grade 3 disease
moderate gum disease and periodontitis
Grade 4 disease
advanced gum disease and periodontitis
Treatment will consist of a professional cleaning, polishing, and fluoride treatment of the teeth to prevent further damage, health risks, and pain.
Also, in many gum disease cases, especially where Grade 3 or Grade 4 disease is evident, extraction of diseased teeth is often necessary to prevent further infection and pain. The difficulty of extracting various teeth depends on the size and number of roots a particular tooth has.
After treatment, it is important to continue preventive care at home.
Canine Dental Care
Preventative care is the most important aspect of good oral hygiene in your puppy. Brushing is a good start and is a relatively simple task you can begin with your new puppy.
Puppies have 28 deciduous (baby) teeth which begin to be replaced by adult teeth at around 14 weeks of age. The full set of 42 adult teeth are usually completely erupted by about 7 months of age. Dental care should start as early as six weeks of age.
To clean the teeth, the lips should be lifted to expose all of the teeth. Start by using a soft cloth or Q-tip and graduate to using a softened angled brush or a finger toothbrush. A dog toothpaste should also be used which has a pleasurable taste (mint, poultry, beef or malt) and is safe to swallow. The teeth should be brushed daily so tarter does not accumulate.
If brushing cannot be done everyday, other products can be used to help. CET chews can be fed once daily. Chew toys such as nylabones or gumabones may be used when your puppy becomes a healthy adult.These products are helpful in removing plaque above the gum line. Ask your veterinary staff about these items.
Without regular dental home care, periodontal disease or tarter buildup will develop. Therefore, a professional dental cleaning may be recommended.
Feline Dental Care
Preventive care is the most important aspect of good oral care in your cat. Brushing is a good start and is a relatively simple task.
To clean the teeth, the lips should be lifted slightly to expose the teeth. Start by using a soft cloth or Q-tip and gradually work up to using a small brush or finger toothbrush.
A specially formulated toothpaste for cats should be used as well. Toothpaste’s come in flavors such as malt, poultry and seafood and is safe for your cat to swallow.
The teeth should be brushed daily so that plaque does not accumulate and harden to tartar.
If brushing cannot be done every day, other products can be used to help. Dental chews or treats designed for cats may also be used. Without regular dental home care, periodontal disease or tartar build-up will develop and a professional dental cleaning may be required.