How Dental & Gum Disease Develops in Your Pets:
The cause of gum disease is the same in cats and dogs as it is in people. Junk left on teeth too long turns to sticky plaque, then tartar and then, bad breath, cavities and worse.
Gum disease is an infection resulting from build-up of soft dental plaque on the surfaces of the teeth around the gums. Plaque is simply a bunch of colorless bacteria that accumulates and then hardens on the surface of the teeth. As the plaque accumulates on the teeth, it irritates the gum tissue which can to infection in the bone near those teeth.
Tartar is the result of calcium from your salvia attaching to the plaque. If teeth are not cleaned, this tartar builds up and attracts more plaque. This stuff gets thick and often requires dental tools to remove. surrounding the teeth.
What Happens with Gum Disease in Pets:
Bad breath is the most common effect noted by owners. Duh.
But things can get much worse without some care. Gums can get bloody and hurt. This can interfere with eating and cause other infections in their bodies. Teeth can fall out and the resulting pain and infection can cause other diseases.
What Can You Do?
Brush Their Teeth
While it can seem difficult at first, with enough patience and plenty of rewards and reinforcements you can turn tooth brushing can work for your dogs or cats. Begin by letting them smell and see the toothbrush and pet toothpaste, slowly gradually work your toward brushing for 30 seconds on each side at least every other day.
FYI: human toothpaste isn't good for pets, so be sure to use a product approved for your pet. Mine like chicken flavor toothpaste, Yuck.
Not as effective as brushing but infinitely easier, is giving dental treats, toys and food designed for the health of your pets mouth. Check for the Seal of Acceptance from the Veterinary Oral Health Council to make sure that whatever treats and toys you choose will actually be effective for plaque and tartar control.
Get Professional Dental Care
To thoroughly examine your pet's teeth and gums, properly get rid of nasty plaque and tartar, and do a thorough cleaning, they will need to be anesthetized. Sedating your pet can sound like a big deal scary, but it is not all that scary. Before your vet even begins anesthesia, she may recommend pre-testing to help ensure they is healthy enough for the procedure.
The benefits of professional cleaning outweigh the possible risks of anesthesia. When they wake up, their breath will smell better, teeth will be healthier. and shiny.
The true bonus of maintaining healthy teeth and gums helps protect your pet's other organs, such as their heart and kidneys from the secondary threats of dental disease. Keep them healthy and happy, keep teeth as clean as possible.