Which disease affects 87% of dogs and 70% of cats over the age of three? The answer is periodontal disease. That’s one major reason why animal dental care in Idaho Falls is so important – because the majority of our pets suffer from some form or other of dental disease. Indeed, this isn’t a rare condition of academic interest, but it’s a common problem that has a very real impact on your pet’s quality of life.
1. Gum Disease: Most people don’t get into the habit of pet teeth cleaning. However we should because when we don’t brush, food residue builds up on the surface of the pet’s teeth and forms sticky plaque that is bacteria rich and is the equivalent of constantly exposing their mouth to a mouth-rinse of bacteria.
Even worse, minerals in saliva react with plaque to form hard tartar deposits. Tartar pushes against the gums and causes them to recede. Another complication is that bacteria that comes in contact with the gum causes pain, inflammation, and gum recession.
2. Wobbly Teeth: A combination of bacteria and gum recession eats away at the dental cement and the ligaments that hold the tooth root in the socket. The result is wobbly teeth that are liable to fall out.
3. Weak Jaw Bones: Next, poor animal dental care in Idaho Falls can lead to infection in the tooth roots and into the jaw bone itself. Infection in the bone weakens it considerably, to the point where some pets even suffer a broken jaw when they chew down on something hard.
4. Toothache: Have you experienced the misery of toothache? Well so do our pets, only they can’t tell you it hurts. Instead they might get grumpy (as a result of pain), eat less or stop grooming. This is why animal dental care is so important, to stop the problem getting to this stage.
5. Risk of Blood Poisoning: One of the most serious consequences of neglected animal dental care is the risk of septicemia and organ failure. Bacteria in the mouth can get into the blood stream through the pet’s inflamed gums. If those bacteria circulate to the heart or kidneys, they can lead to a potentially life-threatening infection.
So why not be proactive and learn how to clean your pet’s teeth? It’s as easy as brushing your own teeth, provided you let your pet get used to each stage of the process.
Here’s a quick guide to the steps of pet teeth cleaning. Take each step slowly, only moving onto the next when your pet is ready.
Get your pet used to you lifting his lip and handling his mouth.
Let him play with a soft toothbrush or finger brush.
Once he’s used to the finger brush, starting touching it to his teeth.
Now gently brush one or two teeth, and tell your pet what an awesome boy he is.
Offer some pet toothpaste on your finger for the pet to lick off.
Put some pet toothpaste onto the finger brush, and clean a tooth.
Try cleaning more teeth.
Clean the whole mouth.
Do right by your pet by taking care of their teeth and providing proper animal dental care in Idaho Falls. If you have any questions – or if your pet needs a dental checkup – call our office today to schedule an appointment!