Despite advances in veterinary medicine, oral hygiene is still considered to be the most neglected aspect of health care in our pets. The majority of dogs and cats over the age of 2 years have significant oral disease and some breeds including small and toy breeds are the most prone to dental disease. In the absence of oral hygiene practices in cats and dogs, as is true in people, disease affecting the gums, teeth and underlying tissue and jaw bone can set in, often quickly. When this occurs, not only is there pain and discomfort in the mouth and bad breath, but there is a greater risk for bacteria entering the blood stream and spreading disease to internal organs including the heart, lung, liver, kidney, joints, etc. In this sense, dental health is often a marker of overall health, especially as our pets age. Fortunately, we can help prevent and manage dental disease by brushing our pets’ teeth regularly, feeding specifically formulated dental diets, treats and water additives and by having a dental exam at least annually with your veterinarian. Most dogs and cats will at least once in their lifetime, require dentistry work – including x-rays, scaling, cleaning, polishing and extractions if necessary.
For further information regarding your pet’s dental health, please see: