Dental hygiene is very important for your pet’s health. Some of the symptoms listed below might be sign of tooth decay and gum disease, although these might not seem as life threatening conditions, they can cause serious health problems and might shorten your pet’s life. Dental disease can also affect other organs: bacteria from the mouth can get in the blood stream and cause serious kidney infections, liver disease, lung disease, and heart valve disease. Oral disease can also indicate that another disease process is occurring elsewhere in the body. Here are some symptoms that you should look for that will determine whether your pet’s teeth might need to be checked:
- excessive chewing on one side of the mouth
- sudden and extreme lack of activity
- reluctance to eat
- bad breath
To prevent gum disease, as a pet owner there a few things that can you can do:
- brush pet’s teeth daily
- provide pets with chew toys and treats to help remove tartar
- using solutions such containing anthium dioxide
Chew toys and treats are great to help remove tartar but brushing is still the most effective.
Some pets might not like the brush so start by introducing them to it, and showing them it will not harm them. Start by gently massaging the gums and teeth, and once the pet is confortable start using the tooth brush. Once they are used to that, use tooth paste. You can find these at our office or pet stores, make sure to never use human toothpaste, the harsh detergents and chemicals are not tolerable and not healthy if ingested.
You can also supplement all these by adding an anthium dioxide solution to your pets water. These are labeled as oral care products and help dissolve food and plaques on the surface of teeth.
Although these are preventive care tools, sometimes your pet might need to be seen by a veterinarian if you see some of the following:
- extreme redness or purple gums
- discolored gums
- excessive bleeding
- broken or chipped teeth
- dark decaying teeth
- thick yellow or brown tartar buildup