National Pet Dental Health Month is upon us!
With February being Dental Month, I figured it’s the best time to talk about dental disease in our dogs and cats. Much like in humans, periodontal disease is the most common disease of our furry family members. The big concern with periodontal disease in our pets is that it’s often times silent as our pets don’t always tell us when something is bothering them.
During your visits to the hospital, we often take a peek in the oral cavity to check for any outward evidence of disease. We are looking for dental tartar, inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and often take note of the odor associated with dental disease. We find it an important part of the examination because it’s not a place owners often look - not like a skin issue or other problem that is obvious on the outside.
We cannot always see periodontal disease - as it’s often lying underneath the gum line, but we see the precursors - gingivitis, and sometimes, we actually do see evidence of disease because you will notice recession of the gum line, where the roots of some teeth become visible - which wouldn’t be visible if there were not a significant amount of bone loss.
The clinical significance of periodontal disease should not be understated. While it definitely can lead to oral disease, tooth loss and discomfort for your pet - it’s also a window to the rest of the body. The bacteria in the oral cavity have open access to the rest of the body on a normal basis, but it becomes a higher risk as inflammation and bleeding of the gums develops. Good dental hygiene and monitoring can help prevent disease - not only in the mouth, but in the rest of the body.
As part of our recognition of dental month, we are currently providing 10% discount to all of our dental procedures from now through the end of February. If you are not sure if your pet needs a dental at this time, please do not hesitate to come in during our walk in clinic hours on Thursday nights from 5-7pm to allow a qualified staff member to take a look and be able to provide you with recommendations regarding dental requirements and likely level of dental work that might be needed.
Please, as always - do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about your pets dental health!!
Until next time...
Kris Covert, DVM