Does your best friend have bad breath? Despite what many pet owners may believe, bad breath is not just a nuisance – it’s a sign of an unhealthy mouth. Bad breath is caused by bacteria. Over time, bacteria lead to plaque and tartar buildup on your pet’s teeth. The result is bad breath, reddened gums, and other common signs of dental disease.
Signs of Dental Disease
If your dog or cat has bad breath, it’s likely they also have dental issues. Besides nasty breath, signs of dental disease include:
- Appetite loss
- Chewing problems
- Growths in the mouth
- Loose or missing teeth
- Pawing at the mouth
- Red, swollen gums
While any dog may develop dental disease, certain dogs are more prone to serious teeth and gum issues than others. These include small dogs, which have a full set of 42 teeth in tiny mouths, and the short-nosed “brachycephalic” breeds, such as bulldogs, boxers, and Pekingese.
By the age of three, most dogs and cats have some plaque and tartar buildup if they have not received dental care. In fact, periodontal, or gum disease, is the most common clinical condition for both dogs and cats, according to the American Veterinary Dental College.
You know the importance of good dental care, and you make sure you and your family regularly visit the dentist. Your pet’s teeth also need periodic checkups and cleaning. Our Little Rock veterinary clinic provides a full range of dental care for dogs and cats. Infected teeth can lead to other issues, including heart, kidney and liver disease as the infection spreads throughout the body. Your best friend can live a longer, healthier life with regular dental care.
During a regular checkup, we carefully examine your pet’s teeth and gums. If your pet requires a teeth cleaning, we’ll schedule an appointment. Before the cleaning, we give your dog a blood test to identify any underlying issues. Teeth cleanings require sedation, but it is a very safe procedure. We use an ultrasonic scaler to take off larger pieces of plaque and tartar, then clean every tooth and under the gum line with a hand scaler. X-rays are taken of your pet’s mouth to assess the health of their teeth and uncover any potential issues below the gum line.
Even if you think your pet’s teeth and gums are fine, we can offer expert advice to help you keep them that way. Dental health shouldn’t be taken for granted. Fortunately, many dental problems can be managed through at home care and by bringing your pet to us for regular dental checkups and teeth cleanings. We want your pet to live a long, healthy life, and we understand that maintaining a healthy mouth is part of that.
Your pet’s health is important to us, so let us help you with this commitment. Call today and discuss your pet’s dental care needs and see how we can help you!