Imagine what would happen if you didn't brush your teeth regularly. The same applies to your pet's teeth. Regular dental care is as important for your pet as it is for you.
About Periodontal Disease
Many pet owners don't realize that oral disease is the number one health problem diagnosed in pets. In fact, statistics show that 85 percent of all dogs and cats have some sort of tooth and gum disease by the time they are just three-years-old.*
Just like in humans, dogs and cats are susceptible to plaque and tartar build-up, which can lead to gingivitis and even periodontitis, a chronic form of the disease that can be painful.
Periodontal disease, which includes gingivitis and periodontitis, is an inflammation and/or infection of the gums and bone around pet's teeth. Over time, plaque and tartar build-up can lead to inflammation of the gums around the pet's teeth - gingivitis.
Periodontitis is a potentially irreversible infection that if left untreated, can result in the destruction of gum and bone and other tissues around the pet's teeth. In most severe cases, periodontitis can ultimately lead to loss of teeth, fracture of the jawbones, and other serious consequences that can dramatically impact a pet's quality of life and overall health.
Whenever it is possible, preventing disease is preferable to treating it and in the case of periodontitis, this is especially true. It is a progressive infectious disease that can lead to unhealthy and painful conditions for dogs and cats that may require difficult and costly treatments.
The good news is that periodontal disease can be prevented with a good dental care program including;
Daily home oral care
Regular visits to your veterinarian, which include an oral exam
Veterinary dental cleaning as advised
Dental diets, oral gels or rinses, and chew toys may also help as aids in prevention.
Keeping your pet's mouth healthy is essential to their health.
*Beard G, Emily P, Mulligan T, Williams C. - American Animal Hospital Association, Veterinary Dentistry, Course 1, 1989.
** Photos and edited text from an article provided by Zoetis Animal Health
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