Urgent Oral and Dental Disease
Dental health isn’t something that is just important for humans. The furriest members of your family also need their teeth – to help them eat, to pick up objects and to defend themselves should the need ever arise. Since your furbaby isn’t able to take care of his own teeth, he is completely reliant on you, as his conscientious and caring owner, to do it for him. This is something you can achieve by regularly brushing his teeth at home, taking him for his dental check-ups and arranging for his teeth to be professionally cleaned at least once each year.
Nevertheless, dental problems still occur. Our animals don’t like to betray the fact that they are in pain or experiencing health issues, and as such, they will try and hide it as long as possible. Unfortunately, they will reach a point whereby it is impossible to hide their discomfort any longer. Then, your precious pet will need you to recognize the symptoms that he is showing you and arrange for him to see an experienced pet dentist as soon as possible.
Oral Problems seen in Pets
There are a variety of oral problems that can affect our pets, some of which are similar to dental issues we ourselves might experience, and a few which are unique to our animals. Some of the most common dental reasons why pets are taken to visit their pet dentist include:
A toothache caused by decay
Retained baby teeth
Plaque and tartar build-up
Stomatitis: inflammation of your pet’s mucous membranes
Feline resorptive lesions: a very painful condition for cats
Some of these problems may not be urgent, but if your pet is suffering significant pain, then you will understandably want him to be seen as quickly as you can. Prompt treatment will help to alleviate his suffering and potentially prevent further dental problems from developing.
Dental Disease in Pets
Dental disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an extremely common condition affecting pets. In fact, it is estimated that 1 in 3 cats and dogs will show symptoms of this inflammatory dental problem by the time they reach their third birthday.
Dental disease occurs when the bacteria that make up the plaque that coats your pets’ teeth migrate onto the blood-rich gums. When this happens, the bacteria cause the gums to become sore and swollen. Eventually, the gums become infected, causing abscesses to develop and your pet to experience significant pain. The gums begin to pull away from his teeth, creating gaps between them that are perfect for trapping bacteria and food debris, making the problem even worse. The jaw bone may deteriorate and eventually, the infection can pass into your pet’s bloodstream and around his body until it reaches his vital organs. Pets that are diagnosed with advanced dental disease are more likely to suffer from chronic health problems that include diabetes mellitus, heart disease, kidney/liver function disorders and cancer.
While dental disease is a progressive condition, if it is caught early enough, it is possible to prevent it from worsening or even reverse some of the first stage symptoms your pet will experience. Signs of dental disease include:
Red, swollen gums
Bleeding gums or noticing blood in his food or water bowls
Persistent bad breath
Teeth that are covered in yellow or brown deposits
Loss of appetite or dropping food when he eats
Pawing at his mouth
Teeth that seem loose or fall out
If you suspect that your pet has dental disease, it is advisable that you arrange an appointment for him with your pet dentist as soon as possible.
Regular check-ups with our pet dentistry team can be vital in the prevention of dental problems. If you would like to schedule a routine appointment for your furbaby, or if you think he needs urgent oral care, please do not hesitate to contact our veterinary hospital in Fishers, IN today.