gum, and jaw health is just as big an issue for pets as it is for
people. Without regular veterinary dental care, your cat or dog is
susceptible to cavities and oral diseases, including periodontal
disease. This isn't an issue to ignore, as periodontal disease can
shorten a pet's lifespan while worsening their quality of life. At
Valley Animal Hospital, here's what we want all Clifton pet owners to
know about periodontal disease in dogs and cats.
Periodontal Disease: An Overview
Periodontal disease is primarily caused by poor oral hygiene. If you do not brush your pet's teeth and bring them to the veterinarian for regular dental cleanings, plaque can build up in your pet's mouth, where it hardens into tartar. Bacteria from the plaque and tartar make their way underneath your pet's gum line, where they multiply and release toxic chemicals. Over time, the bacteria hidden in your pet's mouth can cause gum disease and loose teeth. They can even destroy the structure of your pet's jaw. Bacteria can also travel from your pet's mouth to other parts of their body and damage their organs.
How Can I Tell if My Pet Has Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is not always obvious in the early stages. By the time you notice that there's a problem, the disease has already progressed considerably. Advanced periodontal disease in pets often causes swollen or bleeding gums, loose teeth, bad breath, and difficulty eating. The best way to keep tabs on your pet's oral health is to visit a veterinarian for an annual dental exam and cleaning.
Can Periodontal Disease in Pets Be Cured?
No. Periodontal disease is progressive and cannot be reversed. However, if your pet already has this condition, our veterinary team can help to prevent it from progressing any further. While it can't be cured, periodontal disease can be prevented, so it's best to start paying attention to your pet's oral health as early in life as possible.
What's the Best Way to Prevent or Manage Pet Periodontal Disease?
The best way to keep your pet safe from periodontal disease is to improve their oral hygiene. Brushing your pet's teeth every day with a soft toothbrush will go a long way towards keeping their mouth clean and healthy. We also recommend that all pets receive a professional dental cleaning once a year.
A Clifton Veterinarian Can Keep Your Pet's Mouth Healthy
Whether you have an older pet or you've just adopted a new puppy or kitten, it's never too early or too late to start thinking about your pet's oral health. Call Valley Animal Hospital in Clifton today to make an appointment for a pet dental cleaning. You can reach our office at (973) 509-5225.