It’s Not Just About Smelly Breath!
Dental disease can affect pets of all ages and is one of the most common health problems that we see in dogs and cats. Despite its name it does not merely affect the teeth and mouth but can affect the whole body.
Who Do Dental Problems Affect?
Dental problems affect pets of all ages:
- Young Animals
- congenital dental problems i.e. retained teeth, malocclusions (crooked/wonky teeth)
- fractured teeth
- Older Animals
- tartar build up causing gingivitis
- dental abscesses
- fractured teeth
Signs of Dental Disease
There are many signs of dental disease that you should keep an eye out for in your pet:
- Red or bleeding gums
- Difficulty eating or wanting to eat but only taking a few mouthfuls, only eating soft foods
- Excessive salivation/drooling
- Bad breath
- Decrease in grooming
- Weight loss
- Rubbing/pawing at the face
What Problems Does Dental Disease Cause?
The hidden problems of dental disease include:
Heart disease – due to inflamed gums or exposed blood vessels bacteria can enter the blood stream and find their way to the heart where they can cause
Endocarditis – this is an inflammation/infection of the heart valves
Kidney disease – bacteria invade the kidneys and damages them which then causes them to function improperly
Sinus infection/nasal infections – due to the tooth roots being very close to the nasal cavity and sinuses any infections affecting teeth can erode the bone that separates the teeth and can the result in a spread of infection
Respiratory tract disease – bacteria present in the mouth if in excessive amounts as seen in dental disease can easily find their way into the trachea and deeper into the lungs potentially resulting in pneumonia
Osteomyelitis – this is an infection in the bone that can occur surrounding diseased teeth, this weakens the bone and in severe cases can lead to fractures of the jaw
Stomach problems – all the bacteria present in your pets mouth with dental disease is swallowed along with the toxins that they produce ending up in the stomach this can then result in tummy upsets
Dental disease can make existing health problems worse or harder to control e.g. diabetes.
These are the reasons why we take dental disease very seriously as it’s not just the things you can see on the outside that are the problem. At Pride Veterinary Centre and our branches we are able to offer the whole range of dental care from nurse or vet dental checks to dental procedures and x-rays. Dental advice is not just needed for older pets but we can give preventative advice for those younger animals which will minimise the chances of them developing dental problems.
If you are at all concerned about your pets dental health or would just like some advice please give us a call.
We currently have some great dental offers available. Find out more.