Pet Dental Health: Why It Matters And How To Keep Your Pets Teeth Clean And Healthy

At Dogwood Veterinary Dental, we’re on a mission to help pets thrive by providing the best possible veterinary dental care for dogs and cats in Vancouver, WA. We know how important dental health is for the overall well-being of your furry friend. And with dental disease affecting a staggering 80% of dogs and cats, there’s a lot of work to be done to educate and help treat pets in need.

Keep reading to learn why dental health is so important and how to prevent and treat this common issue in a simple and effective manner.

What dental disease is and how it can affect your pet

Dental disease is a common health issue in pets, particularly dogs and cats. It is caused by the buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth, which can lead to inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and damage to the tooth structure. If left untreated, dental disease can progress to more severe conditions such as tooth decay, infection, and even loss of teeth. In addition to causing pain and discomfort in the mouth, dental disease can also lead to more serious health issues such as heart and kidney disease. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings, as well as a diet and oral care routine specifically designed for dental health, are important in preventing and treating dental disease in pets.

The importance of good dental health for dogs and cats

Maintaining good dental health in dogs and cats provides numerous benefits for their overall well-being. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings, along with a diet and oral care routine specifically designed for dental health, can help prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar on teeth. This can help to keep your pet’s teeth and gums healthy, and maintain their ability to eat, chew and taste their food properly. A healthy mouth is also important for proper digestion and nutrient absorption. Additionally, good dental hygiene can help to keep your pet’s breath fresh, and prevent bad odor. Proper oral care can also prevent the need for costly and potentially painful dental procedures in the future. By keeping your pet’s teeth and gums healthy, you can help them live a longer and healthier life!

Tips for keeping your pet's teeth clean and healthy

  • Brush your pet’s teeth regularly with a pet-specific toothbrush and toothpaste.

  • Feed your pet a diet that is designed to prevent/remove tartar buildup.

  • Provide fresh water that encourages drinking and helps to rinse the mouth.

  • Schedule an annual dental check-up and cleaning with your veterinarian. Small dogs may require treatments every six months as they build up tartar faster.

  • Provide dental products and treats that are approved by Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC)

  • Monitor your pet’s oral hygiene and look out for any signs of dental disease.

Puppies and kittens should be introduced to oral care as soon as possible, so they get used to it and accept it as part of their regular routine!

Signs that your pet may have dental disease

  • Bad breath

  • Discolored or loose teeth

  • Red, swollen, or bleeding gums

  • Refusal to eat or chew on hard food or toys

  • Pawing at the mouth or face rubbing

  • Dropping food from the mouth while eating

  • Loss of appetite

  • Weight loss

  • Swelling in the face or jaw

  • Decreased interest in playing or being active

  • Excessive drooling

  • Whining or crying while eating or when their face is touched

  • Loss of teeth

  • Discolored tongue

  • Tartar buildup on teeth

  • Receding gums

  • Tenderness or bleeding when you touch the mouth or gums

  • Loss of grooming or self-care habits

It is important to note that pets can hide their pain and discomfort, so it’s crucial to schedule regular dental check-ups with your veterinarian to ensure your pet’s teeth and gums are healthy. If you notice any of these signs, it is important to get your pet evaluated by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Treatment options for dental disease

Treatment options for dental disease vary depending on the severity of the condition. In mild cases, a professional dental cleaning and polishing may be all that is needed. This involved removing plaque and tartar, and smoothing the tooth surfaces to prevent further buildup. In more advanced cases, extraction may be necessary to remove damaged or infected teeth. Most pet owners don’t realize just how involved tooth extractions can be. Extracting a tooth is a type of oral surgery and can involve numbing teeth, cutting teeth with a drill, suturing gum tissue, and taking dental x-rays. After extractions, your veterinarian will give and send home pain medication to keep your pet comfortable while they heal. To learn more about extraction, click watch the video below.

Your cat and dog dentist in Vancouver, WA

Taking care of your pet’s pearly whites is just as important as taking care of your own! Regular dental check-ups for dogs and cats can improve their health and overall well-being. Call (360) 859-3790 to schedule a dental visit with our team at Dogwood Veterinary Dental in Vancouver, WA today and give your pet the gift of a healthy smile!

Not sure what to expect at your pet’s dental appointment? We’ve outlined exactly what to expect when you bring your dog or cat in for a dental check-up at Dogwood Veterinary Dental.

Want to learn more? The following are great sources for information on dental disease in pets:

These organizations provide detailed information on the causes, symptoms, prevention, and treatment of dental disease in pets, as well more as tips on how to maintain your pet's oral health!

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