How do you know if you pet needs dental care? Did you know that “more than 80% of dogs over 3 years old have periodontal disease,” states Pets WebMD.

A professional dental cleaning removes not only the visible plaque and tartar on the teeth surfaces but also the bacteria under the gums. This eliminates potential sources of infection to the mouth and other organs and protects your pet from pain and tooth loss.

Why Dental Care?

“Plaque, which is made of saliva, sloughed mouth cells, food, and other things, forms on teeth just minutes after eating. If left untreated, the plaque builds up, leading to gum inflammation that can then cause tissue decay. The inflammation then progresses deep enough to destroy bone, which finally leads to tooth loss, the ultimate end of periodontal disease. Unfortunately, periodontal disease (also called gum disease), occurs five times as often in pets as it does in people. Yet, while gum disease is usually the biggest dental problem a dog faces, it's not the only one. Some dogs, especially larger breeds, are also prone to broken or fractured teeth,” reports Pets WebMD.

How Often?

Regular cleanings and exams for your dog depends on:

  • The dog's breed. (Smaller breeds have more dental problems that larger breeds.)
  • The dog's age.
  • The home care you provide. (Do you brush your dog's teeth? Offer them good-quality chew toys and treats?)

Signs

Here are some signs that your pet needs to have dental care:

  • Bad breath
  • Drooling
  • Pawing at mouth
  • Tartar build-up
  • Loose or missing teeth
  • Difficulty Chewing

If you notice any of these signs in your pet, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.

Animal Care Center in Smyrna, GA, is owned and operated by Otto H. Williams, DVM. The veterinary practice specializes in complete healthcare for cats and dogs and offers services including preventative, surgical and nonsurgical care, internal medicine, grooming and boarding to Cobb County and surrounding cities such as Vinings, Marietta, Mableton and Sandy Springs. Call today at 770.438.2694 or request an appointment.