Bad Breath: The Silent Disease

Does your Fido or Fluffy have bad breath? That offensive odor could signify serious health risks for your beloved pet. To help keep you aware of potential health issues, we've compiled a list of things you need to know about dental/oral disease in dogs and cats.

 

Here are the top 10 things you need to know:

  1. Periodontal disease is the #1 diagnosed problem in dogs and cats. By age 3, 85% of dogs & cats are affected with some level of dental disease. As your pets get older, the dental disease will progress, so it's important to start getting regular dental cleanings young.
  2. If your pet has bad breath this is a good indicator of advanced periodontal disease, and you should have them examined.
  3. If your dog or cat has their teeth cleaned without anesthesia or dental x-rays, their teeth may appear to look shiny and new, but there can be a lot lurking below the gum line that is not being addressed. Without a full investigation, disease can be worsening even when your pet's teeth look perfect.
  4. Common painful problems include: broken teeth and roots, periodontal disease, dead teeth, abscesses, gingivitis, and feline oral resorptive lesions.
  5. Dental disease is a common health problem in our companion animals with potentially severe health implications. Periodontal infections have been linked to serious health conditions such as kidney disease, liver disease, worsening heart damage to those with pre-existing conditions, blood clots, and insulin resistance.
  6. Oral cancer is the 4th most common cancer in dogs and cats, and periodontal disease can leave them higher at risk.
  7. Your pet is a master of disguise when it comes to pain. S/he may be eating normally and not showing any obvious signs that his/her mouth is painful. But trust us: loose teeth, periodontal disease, gingivitis and broken teeth are painful and need treatment.
  8. It's ideal that you brush your pet’s teeth daily. Owners should be aware, though: for pets with advanced dental disease, at home brushing can be painful & uncomfortable for both pets & owners. If it seems like your pet is in pain when you try to brush his/her teeth, this is definitely a sign you should talk to your vet!
  9. Pet dental food & treats can be easy, convenient solutions; however, they typically only clean the tips of the teeth. A combination of brushing and feeding dental food or treats is recommended in between dental visits. However, at-home care cannot replace veterinary-performed dental cleanings.
  10. Routine cleanings, including dental x-rays to identify underlying problems, help prevent periodontal disease and allow a complete oral exam screening.

 

Your pets do so much to make you smile. Why not do something to help their smiles? Learn more about our comprehensive dental services, and help ensure your pet a longer, happier, healthier life. Now that’s something to smile about! If you need to schedule an appointment, give us a call or fill out our online form!

 

This blog post originally appeared on The Drake Center and has been modified for syndication.

 

 

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