Dental disease is the most common disease in dogs and cats. It is reported that over 80% of all pets three years of age or older have some level of dental disease. It is up to us as your pet dental and health care provider, as well as you, their owner to help uncover this hidden and often painful condition.
Periodontal disease includes gingivitis and periodontitis, which are an inflammation and/or infection of the gums and bone around your pet’s teeth. This is caused by bacteria that accumulates in the mouth, forming soft plaque that later hardens into tarter. If left untreated, periodontal disease can eventually lead to tooth loss. There are four stages of periodontal disease: gingivitis, early, moderate and advanced.
There are a few signs that you can look for to know if your dog may be suffering from this disease:
- Bad breath
- Red or swollen gums
- A yellow-brown crust near the gum line
- Loose or missing teeth
- Discomfort when mouth or gums are touched
- Decreased appetite or weight loss due to difficulty chewing.
It is important to brush your pets’ teeth to help prevent periodontal disease. By brushing on a regular basis you will help reduce plaque buildup. Be sure to use a toothbrush and toothpaste that is specially designed for dogs and cats.
Just like humans, pets also need to make regular visits to their dentist, a.k.a. your Veterinarian, for a dental exam and cleaning. Regular professional cleanings under general anesthesia, including areas under the gum line will help remove plaque and tartar on the teeth, which will help reduce bacteria that lead to periodontal disease.
If you are looking for an animal hospital in Traverse City that offers state-of-the-art dental care, Northern Michigan Veterinary Hospital is here to take care of all of your pets dental needs. We offer full-mouth digital radiographs, which allows for better imaging and diagnoses. The digital images are taken in a few minutes time, compared to the old film based radiographs which take a significant amount of time - so the less time it takes to take and process the x-rays, means less time that your pet is under anesthesia. Also, for your pets dental Northern Michigan Veterinary Hospital is trained and equipped to handle those tough dental cases that may require extractions, including surgical extractions, bondent sealants and Doxirobe™ treatments.
And just like any anesthetic procedure at NMVH we have a dedicated anesthetic nurse monitoring your pet. To learn more about dental care at Northern Michigan Veterinary Hospital view our procedure album on the home page and click on “A Day at the Dentist”.