Why Your Pet Needs Dental Care
Your pet obviously can’t brush their own teeth (alhough it’d be a sight to see if they could), which means it’s up to you as the owner to maintain their oral health for them. Overtime, plaque and tartar can accumulate on your pet’s teeth, just like it can on your own teeth. This buildup can eventually lead to gum disease, which can leave your pet in a great deal of pain. It can also affect their liver, heart, and kidneys if not treated. Don’t let it get that for YOUR pet. Colony Animal Hospital in Newport News offers comprehensive dental services to help prevent dental disease, so your four-legged friend can be with you for as long as possible.
What Exactly Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease in pets is very similar to that in humans, both in how it starts and how it progresses. In pets, it includes four stages of progression, which are detailed below:
Stage 1 Gingivitis: At this stage, there is light plaque accumulation on the teeth and minor gum inflammation. These conditions are reversible with professional dental treatment at Colony Animal Hospital.
Stage 2 Early Periodontitis: This is when a pet is likely to start feeling pain, due to the inflammation of the entire gum area. Another common symptom at this stage is bad breath. Luckily, professional dental treatment and at-home dental care can still reverse these effects.
Stage 3 Moderate Periodontitis: This is the first phase of gum disease. When early periodontitis is allowed to progress to this stage, the bacterial infection and tartar start to destroy the gums, resulting in bone loss, sore mouth, and persistent bad breath. Typically, the mouth soreness affects a pet’s eating habits. Stage 3 may or may not be reversible.
Stage 4 Advanced Periodontitis: At this stage, the infection continues to break down the gum and bone tissue as well as the tooth itself. This is the most severe case because the bacterial infection can now enter the blood stream, potentially leading to liver, heart, and kidney disease.
How to Prevent Pet Gum Disease
Remember, we at Colony Animal Hospital are pet owners, too, so we want your pet to be disease-free, just as much as you do. One of the easiest ways to prevent gum disease is by bringing your pet in at least once a year for a pet wellness exam. During these exams, we’ll examine the mouth to look for any signs of gum disease, such as those mentioned above. If we think a pet dental cleaning is necessary, we’ll schedule a separate appointment so we can perform a full cleaning and dental exam under general anesthesia. We can also give you our recommendations for at-home dental care. Our pet dental services are both safe and effective, and they can help eliminate the risk of gum disease, so schedule an appointment today!