Pet dental health.

We spend a good amount of time observing and enjoying our pet’s faces. Cute, fuzzy ears, sparkling, intelligent eyes, and boop-able noses have a lot going for them, but the full picture must include the mouth, too. Who isn’t accustomed to how their pet’s teeth and gums look, feel, and, more importantly, smell? A clean mouth is a healthy one, and we’ve got some tips on the best ways to achieve pet dental health.

Puzzle Pieces

When your pet comes in for their routine wellness check, we examine them from head to tail. A major part of this appointment involves the inspection of their teeth and gums. We look for plaque and tartar build-up, chips, cracks, loss or inflamed gums, and any lumps or bumps. Because systemic illnesses, like lung, kidney, and heart disease, can result from poor oral hygiene, we remain on high alert over the course of a pet’s entire life. 

Staying in front of potential issues in your pet’s mouth can save them a lot of pain in the future. Treating dental problems once they’ve progressed can be more costly in the long run, as well.

With the Territory

The majority of pets over age three have some form of periodontal (gum) disease. It may start out as bad breath, but can quickly develop into full-fledged inflammation and disease. Instead of excusing foul breath, it’s time to stop the progressive nature of periodontal disease.

What’s more, maintaining and improving pet dental health can add years to a pet’s life, and keep them pain-free during their senior years.

Enhance Pet Dental Health

In order to promote lifetime dental health for a pet, we recommend the following strategies:

  1. Keep yearly or bi-annual wellness visits so we may track symptoms and thwart potential illness. Remember, early intervention is the key to preventing health problems. Many pets benefit from professional scaling to remove plaque. We offer anesthesia-free cleanings for minimal treatments, and pet dentistry under general anesthesia for animals that need additional procedures, like extractions.
  2. Pet owners should be able to spot the signs of periodontal disease in their pets, including red or sore-looking gums, bleeding, obvious tenderness, disinterest in food, shaking their head from side to side while trying to eat, and cracked, broken or missing teeth. Schedule an appointment as soon as your notice changes. 
  3. Keeping an eye on pet nutrition is always important, but certain supplements or food ingredients can bolster their teeth, gums, and bones. Limiting options that can break teeth or injure gums is critical.
  4. Brushing your pet’s teeth at home on a regular basis can prevent periodontal disease. Combine this task with grooming or bathing, and reward them with loads of affection and praise. Start slowly to desensitize them to the act of brushing, and encourage them to enjoy the process with tasty toothpaste, like bacon or chicken flavored (never use human toothpaste). 
  5. Experiment with various dental chews, dental rinses, or water additives designed to make your pet’s teeth stronger, cleaner, and less susceptible to disease.

Always a Priority

Since plaque hardens within a day or two, be sure to brush your pet’s teeth once a day or at least offer them a treat or toy intended to remove some of the build-up. 
As always, if we can assist you with further questions or concerns, please call us at (760) 439‑5500. Our staff is always here for you at Surfside Animal Hospital.