Image Alt

Albuquerque VetCo

 / Pet  / Why Should You Care About Your Pets Teeth?
Dog teeth

Why Should You Care About Your Pets Teeth?

Dog teethThere is no shame in not looking at your pets’ teeth. Honestly, most of us are terrible about remembering to floss our own teeth much less brush our dogs. Doggie dental health is very important, just like your own dental health is really important.

Dental health in our pets is one of the most overlooked health care items for pet owners. I am not trying to shame you about not looking at your pet’s teeth, we have all neglected our pet’s teeth and even our own. But dental health is a very important part of your pet’s overall health and can be an indicator of other health problems in your pet. Getting your pet’s teeth checked by your Albuquerque vet annually is important. You can schedule your pet dental cleanings today.

Does my pet need a dentist?

Well, the answer is both yes and no. Most vets can check the dental health of your pet. At Albuquerque Vetco we offer full cleanings and extractions. Depending on what is going on with your pet’s teeth you may need something more specialized such as x-rays or root canals.

What is a pet teeth cleaning?

A pet dental cleaning is not very different than a human cleaning. The Albuquerque veterinarian includes scaling to remove the plaque and tartar, polishing, as well as a visual examination of your pet’s mouth. All of this is done under general anesthesia because most of the cleaning is done below the gumline. Below the gumline is where most of your pet’s dental problems hide, including the most problematic plaque build-up.

What is pet oral health?

Your pet’s teeth should be checked annually for early signs of problems. Depending on your pet, they may need a professional veterinary cleaning every year or two.  Here are things you can watch for to help detect dental issues:

  • Bad breath…and we mean really bad breath. If your dog’s mouth smells like something died in there, a minty biscuit will no longer fix it.
  • Broken teeth. Those sharp points can cause cuts and wound inside the mouth and open your pet up to infections in the gums or tooth.
  • Loose teeth
  • Extra teeth
  • Teeth are covered in tartar, which will usually look like they are discolored.
  • Weird chewing, drooling, or food falling out of their mouth. This can be a sign of loose teeth or discomfort.
  • Pain inside or around their mouth.
  • Bleeding from the mouth. This is often seen in their drool or in their water. If you notice pink in their water bowl it means they have bleeding in their mouth.
  • Swelling around their mouth.
  • Change of behavior when you try to touch their mouth. This is a good indicator of pain.

If your pet is getting aggressive with you when you try to touch their mouth, do not try to force the issue. Bring them to your vet. When an animal experiences pain they are more likely to bite. At the vet, they can help alleviate the pain and make it easier on them and you.

What causes dental problems in pets?

You may be surprised to know that cavities are not that common of a problem for pets but there are other problems that are the same that humans have.

  • Broken teeth
  • Exposed roots due to broken teeth
  • Periodontal disease
  • Abscesses
  • Infected teeth
  • Cysts
  • Tumors
  • Crooked teeth
  • Broken jaw
  • Cleft palate

Periodontal disease is the most common dental issue for both cats and dogs…and people too. Did you know that by the time your pet is three years old they will likely have signs of periodontal disease? If it is not addressed it will only get worse as they get older. The biggest problem with periodontal disease is that it doesn’t just affect their mouth, it can affect the health of their whole body including the kidney, liver, and heart muscles.

What causes Periodontal Disease?

The reason why teeth cleaning is so important is that periodontal disease starts with plaque and tartar buildup below the gumline. Regular cleaning and teeth brushing is the best way to prevent periodontal disease. If you are not sure how to brush your pet’s teeth, read this great post that will teach you to brush your pet’s teeth.