The Glenville Veterinary Clinic

The Truth About Teeth

Dental disease is one of the most common diseases in our pets!  All pets are at risk regardless of what they eat or how much they chew.  Just through the everyday acts of eating and salivating, tartar forms on teeth.  As tartar builds up, the gums become inflamed and begin to recede.  Gum recession exposes the sensitive roots of the teeth.  Often times, we don’t even know that our cats and dogs are suffering from dental disease because they still eat.  But left untreated, dental disease can cause pain and serious infection. This infection can be at the gumline, the roots of the teeth (which extend all the way back to the eye!), and can sometimes affect the entire body.   There are several ways to prevent or slow the progression of dental disease.  First, and most importantly, brushing our pets’ teeth at home every day greatly decreases gum disease and tartar build up!  Make sure to use pet-safe toothpaste to make brushing teeth a safe, tasty, and enjoyable process.  Second, regular check-ups with the veterinarian are very important!  We check teeth at every visit.  Next, your veterinarian might recommend a professional dental cleaning.  During a dental cleaning, your pet is placed under anesthesia.  All of the tartar and plaque is cleaned off of the teeth and from under the gumline, and the teeth are polished.  It’s just like what happens to us at the dentist!  If a tooth is too painful or sick to be saved, it is carefully removed.  Last, there are many products available to try to slow the progression of dental disease. These products can be helpful, but brushing teeth is the best thing we can do at home to keep our pets’ teeth healthy!

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