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February Is Pet Dental Health Month - The Importance of Pet Dental Care

Dental disease is not just a cosmetic problem. When your furry friend has stinky breath, yellow teeth, and red gums, it could indicate serious oral disease. If left unaddressed, it could result in severe consequences on your pet’s quality of life.




Take Care of Your Pet’s Oral Health



Neglecting your furry friends’ gums and teeth can lead to chronic pain. In some cases, it can manifest in certain behavioral issues. That is why February National Pet Dental Health Month is important. Here are a few things to keep in mind during the entire month and beyond.




What Is Dental Disease?



Dental disease is a condition that affects your pet’s gums, teeth, and teeth-supporting structures. It commonly starts with plaque buildup that contains food particles and bacteria. If left in place, the plaque hardens into tartar. Tartar that is visible above your pet’s gumline is removable. Your pet doctor can do this easily during a dental checkup.


However, clean-looking teeth can be deceiving. Trouble begins if tartar is present below the gumline. It can cause inflammation, infections, and damage to supporting structures of the teeth. During this stage, your furry friend can experience pain and severe dental issues.




Signs of Dental Issues



Some of the signs that your pet might be suffering from dental problems include:
 

  • Loose or broken teeth.
     

  • Retained baby teeth.
     

  • Extra teeth.
     

  • Swelling around the mouth area.
     

  • A painful and bleeding mouth.
     

  • Excessive drooling or abnormal chewing.
     

  • Bad breath.
     

  • Inability or refusal to eat.




Importance of Pet Dental Care



Every pet parent wants their furry friend to have a healthy mouth. Here are a few reasons why that is important.
 

  • Prevents loss of teeth – Damage to the structures that support your pet’s teeth can lead to tooth loss. Effective pet dental care throughout the year promotes healthy teeth-supporting structures, preventing tooth loss.
     

  • Prevents oral pain – Dental disease can be quite painful for your pet. This is especially true if it is severe. Proper dental health helps avoid this problem.
     

  • Prevents halitosis (bad breath) – When you ensure your pet gets proper dental care, you will not have to worry about bad breath.
     

  • Prevents dental disease from progressing – According to studies, most pets already suffer from dental disease by the time they are three years. For this reason, preventing it from developing in the first place is difficult. Yet, proper pet dental care can reduce its impact on your furry friend’s dental health. It can prevent it from becoming severe and cause major damage to their health.
     

  • Prevents organ damage – In more severe cases, bacteria in the plaque can find their way into your pet’s bloodstream (bacteremia). If it reaches the heart and other body organs, it can make your pet quite ill. Good pet dental care helps prevent this condition.




In Conclusion



To help keep your pet’s oral health at its optimum, we celebrate Pet Dental Health Month. Make the month the perfect time to take care of your pet’s dental needs. However, do not let it stop when the month ends. Make it a tradition throughout the rest of the year.



For more on Pet Dental Health Month, visit South Willamette Veterinary Clinic at our office in Creswell, Oregon. You can call (541) 313-3352 today to schedule an appointment.

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