The Importance of Dental Care for Pets

Learn why it is important to maintain good dental health in animals and how it can help protect their overall health.

The Importance of Dental Care for Pets

The loss of a single tooth can make feeding difficult, which is why dental care for pets is so important. If your pet doesn't receive proper dental care, they could have periodontal disease. This disease causes the periodontal ligament and jaw to become infected and inflamed, leading to tooth loss. When the structures that support a dog's teeth are damaged or infected, the teeth loosen and fall out. Good dental care for dogs will ensure that those tooth support structures stay healthy and keep the teeth in place.

Dental problems, such as gum infections and abscesses, can affect your pet's ability to chew. As a result, they may lose their appetite and suffer from health problems and weight loss. Poor health can make your pet more susceptible to illness and disease. Periodontal disease can weaken the bone structure of a pet's teeth and cause tooth loss. If the disease enters your pet's bloodstream, it can cause damage to the heart, liver, or kidneys.

Professional dental cleanings from our Yorktown veterinarian help keep dental problems at bay to protect your pet's overall health. Veterinary dentistry includes cleaning, adjusting, filing, removing, or repairing your pet's teeth and all other aspects of oral health care. While dental diseases are common in dogs, proper dental care for dogs can keep the dog's mouth as healthy as possible. Unless you provide some type of dental care on a regular basis, you are ignoring an important part of your pet's overall health and well-being. The American Animal Hospital Association Dental Care Guidelines recommend regular oral examinations and dental cleanings, under general anesthesia, for all adult dogs and cats.

There are many pet products that are marketed with claims that they improve dental health, but not all of them are effective. Some dog toys, such as the Nylabone Durachew chewable dinosaur dog toy, are designed to clean your dog's teeth and even freshen their breath. When tartar is above the gum line, it is easily visible and can be removed relatively easily by your veterinarian during professional dental cleaning. Brushing your pet's teeth regularly is the most effective thing you can do to keep their teeth healthy between dental cleanings, and can reduce the frequency or even eliminate the need for regular dental cleaning by your veterinarian. When you go to the dentist, you know that what you are doing is meant to help you and keep your mouth healthy. Dental disease is a painful condition that occurs when bacteria, plaque, and tartar build up on your pet's teeth and get trapped below the gum line.

Subject to state or provincial regulations, veterinary technicians may perform certain dental procedures under the supervision of a veterinarian. Protecting your pet's oral health is very important for many of the reasons we've described above. Daily use of products that have received the Veterinary Oral Health Council product seal of approval can help you use the most effective products to keep your pet's teeth clean and the gum and bone tissues around the roots healthy.