Although many pet owners often overlook it, dental care is vital to your pet’s overall health. Unfortunately, an estimated 80% of dogs and 70% of cats over the age of three have already developed some form of dental disease, which can lead to systemic health problems, organ damage, and even death if left unaddressed. At Bonner Springs Animal Care Center, our veterinarian is pleased to provide pets with comprehensive pet dentistry services to promote good oral and overall health.
How Dental Disease Affects Overall Pet Health
Teeth naturally accumulate plaque and tartar on their surfaces. This creates pockets between the gums and the teeth where harmful bacteria thrive. This bacterial infection is called periodontal disease (gum disease). It can lead to local problems like painful teeth and gums, tooth loss, and jawbone degeneration.
Periodontal disease can also lead to system-wide problems. Bacteria from the mouth can get into the lungs, leading to respiratory infections. Bacteria can also enter the bloodstream, travel throughout the body, and lead to generalized inflammation. As bacteria travels through the bloodstream, it can damage internal organs, leading to heart, kidney, and liver problems that can eventually shorten your pet’s lifespan.
Pet Dentistry in Bonner Springs
During a pet dental exam, our veterinarian will scale and polish your pet’s teeth to remove plaque and tartar buildup. We’ll also examine your pet’s teeth and gums to screen for problems that could be happening inside your pet’s teeth or below the gum line.
Professional dentistry is similar to dental care for people, except that it takes place with pets under general anesthesia to ensure your pet’s safety and comfort.
Caring for Your Pet's Teeth at Home
In addition to professional dental cleanings and exams, you can do a lot to prevent periodontal disease and protect your pet’s oral health at home. Brush your pet’s teeth with a toothbrush or finger brush designed for your pet’s species and size and toothpaste that’s formulated and flavored for pets. You can also provide your pet with dental-friendly treats and chew toys.
Signs Your Pet Needs a Professional Dental Exam
We examine your pet’s teeth during every annual wellness exam and might recommend a professional dental appointment if your pet has obvious signs of dental disease.
We recommend scheduling a dental appointment if you notice any of the following:
If you notice any of the above signs of symptoms of dental disease, we strongly encourage you to schedule a dental exam for your dog or cat.