Dog holding toothbrush in its mouth.

Pet dental care is one of the most important aspects of well-rounded veterinary attention. We can see clear connections between clean teeth and overall health. Likewise, poor oral hygiene can lead to serious medical conditions. While nice-smelling breath is a great place to start, pet dental care is so much more than that. We’ve got the top 3 reasons to promote this essential facet of pet health:

First Things First

Pet dental care may be new for some pet owners, but it’s fast becoming one of the most important elements of responsible ownership. If a pet goes their entire life without regular brushing or routine cleanings, plaque accumulates and calcifies into tarter. Gingivitis and gum inflammation is the first stage of periodontal disease (out of four stages) and can be reversed if caught and treated early on. Left alone, however, gingivitis can progress to other stages of periodontal disease characterized by receding gums, loose teeth, and pain. Tartar build up also causes the gums to recede from the teeth. 

A great place to start thinking about pet dental care is recognizing how painful periodontal disease can be. Without veterinary intervention, periodontal disease can cause severe pain, bleeding gums, broken teeth, and tooth loss. Preventing a pet from experiencing pain is critical to their wellbeing. Luckily, periodontal disease (and its many symptoms) are absolutely avoidable.

Secondary Gains

Advanced stages of periodontal disease can lead to systemic illness. Oral bacteria can seep into the bloodstream where it is carried to the major organs. Consequently, the heart, liver, and kidneys can develop serious disease. Cardiac issues, endocarditis (heart inflammation), myocardial infarction, and tissue changes have been well documented in cases of pet dental disease. Insulin resistance has also been linked to periodontal disease.

A great reason to pivot towards pet dental health is to save them from terrible health outcomes. You could even be adding to their longevity just by reducing plaque and tartar buildup.

Fiscally Sound

It can be a challenge to get into a brushing routine at home. It’s awkward for owners and downright off-putting for pets. However, with a little positive reinforcement, lots of praise, and healthy treats, you can convince your pet that having their teeth brushed is a satisfying activity. 

What’s more, a little brushing up front can save you money in the long run. While we recommend annual dental cleanings under anesthesia (a safe procedure that allows us to capture digital X-rays, in addition to scaling and polishing), the cost of preventive treatment is usually much lower than emergency intervention. Waiting for a pet to develop periodontal disease, pain, and tooth problems is an outdated approach to their health, and can be quite expensive to treat. 

All the Reasons for Pet Dental Health

We are thrilled to help pet owners get on the right track toward pet dental health. Please call us at (215) 752-1010 with any questions or concerns, or to schedule your pet’s next wellness exam. Our veterinarians and staff members are always happy to help!