Like humans, dogs and cats can be affected by dental disease or may have accidents requiring medical attention. Also, like humans, dental issues can affect their overall health. Although routine veterinary checkups include oral exams and cleaning, there are situations where oral problems are unpredictable.
Some dogs and cats are more prone to dental problems because of their breed. These can be due to their bone structures or their genetics.
Some breeds with really small mouths, like chihuahuas, usually have issues with overcrowding. Some dogs and cats may even experience persistent deciduous teeth (PDT), where baby teeth do not fall out. Adult teeth then force their way out, causing both malocclusions and overcrowding.
Big-breed dogs are prone to a condition called gingival hyperplasia. It means the dog experiences excessive growth and thickening of the gums. It can be attributed to genetics or can be a reaction to inflammation because of bacteria in the gums.
When the issues mentioned above are not addressed, there is a risk of periodontal diseases. Suppose there is difficulty in maintaining oral hygiene due to pain or hard-to-reach areas; plaque buildup is inevitable. Tartar buildup can go under the gum line. Bacteria in plaque can cause gingivitis, stomatitis, and other problematic conditions.
Oral Treatments and Surgery
Dogs and cats that are faithfully brought to the vet for their annual are more likely to maintain great oral health. Aside from the comprehensive cleaning and oral exams, the vet can give recommendations regarding breed-specific issues. Tooth extractions or orthodontic intervention can be proactive solutions to impending problems.
However, the vet dentist may recommend emergency or even full-mouth extractions in case of severe damage and disease. This may sound scary, but pets may live better lives without teeth than be in pain and at risk of complications. To learn more about this, you may check out reliable vet websites.
Practical Tips for Pet Owners
You are responsible for the total well-being of your pets. To ensure that your pets get the best possible chance for excellent oral health, here are some tips to consider. These require your commitment and dedication for the best results.
Establish Good Habits
If you can, brush their teeth twice daily, but not less than thrice a week. Some pets may be fussy, but they can adapt to this routine and bond with you at the same time. Be gentle and encouraging during toothbrushing sessions.
Visit the Vet
Annual or bi-annual checkups include dental work. During this time, the veterinary dentist can see the state of your pet’s dental health and any early signs of problems. Most of the time, pets will be sedated to enable the vet to remove plaque thoroughly. Listen to the vet’s recommendations and do what is necessary.
Consider Pet Insurance or Wellness Plans
You may check with the vet or insurance providers about what they can do for your pets. In-house wellness plans include dental checks and focus on preventive care. Like the ones Pfennig Lane Animal Hospital recommends, pet insurance can cover the expensive costs of treatments in emergency situations that may require surgery. Either way, payments will be easier on your pockets, and you will always have a sense of preparedness.