February is Dental Month!

posted: by: Dawn, RVT Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

Most people brush their teeth once or twice a day.  Many floss or use mouth wash.  Dentists recommend a professional cleaning every 6 months to keep your mouth healthy.  So what about your pets??

Pet owners often don't think about their pets' mouths.  Pets eat on a daily basis.  Many, especially cats, groom themselves.  Some also eat less desireable things from the yard!  All of that passes by the teeth and gums and leaves bacteria behind in the mouth.

The primary complaint from many pet owners in regards to their pets' mouths is bad breath.  Where does bad breath come from?  It comes from bacteria in the mouth.  Think about that yucky taste in your mouth every morning that we call morning breath.  Now imagine that that bad taste never goes away.  Imagine never brushing your teeth.  Your mouth would then smell and look like your dog or cat's mouth.

When asked, pet owners will often say that their pet is eating hard food normally.  So they must not be in pain, right?  Wrong.  Think about if you've ever had a toothache.  Or a cavity.  Think about how much that hurts.  However, dogs and cats, even though they are domesticated, still retain some survival instincts.  One is to not show pain, and another is to continue eating if at all possible.  Therefor, we see many dogs and cats with bad teeth who appear to be eating their regular hard food normally.

Over 70% of all dogs and cats have some form of dental disease.  That's more than we see with arthritis, skin disease or even ear issues.  Dental disease is characterized by red, sometimes swollen gums and a buildup of plaque & tartar on the teeth.  The longer the mouth is left unattended, the worse the dental disease gets.  Bacteria can eat away at tooth roots and even the bone which hold those tooth roots.

Dental disease doesn't only affect the mouth.  That bacteria will get into the bloodstream and travel to the heart, kidneys and liver and cause health concerns in those areas.

The doctors at Suburban Animal Clinic evaluate your pet's teeth at each routine visit and award a 'dental grade' from 0-4, zero being no dental disease (typically puppies & kittens, or pets who just had a professional cleaning) and a four being severe dental disease.  Our doctors will let you know when a dental cleaning is recommended.  When done early, before the mouth gets highly infected, there's a good chance that no teeth will need pulled.  But the longer you wait, the more infected (and painful!!) the mouth gets, and that's when teeth often need pulled, which quickly makes the dental cleaning much more expensive.

Suburban Animal Clinic is currently offering $15 every dental cleaning done from now until March 29th.  Many people wait until tax time to catch up on things such as dental care for pets.  Now's the time to do it!  These spots will fill quickly, so call today to schedule an appointment!

Quick Reminders:

- Over 70% of dogs and cats have some form of dental disease.  That's 7 out of 10!

- Pets are excellant at masking mouth pain and often continue to eat with no problems.

- The longer you wait to get the recommended dental cleaning, the worse the dental disease will get, and will also affect other vital organs.  It will also make the dental cleaning more expensive!!

Stay tuned as we give recommendations on how to keep your pet's mouth healthy!

View the steps we take when giving your dog or cat a professional dental cleaning by visiting www.suburbananimalclinic.com and selecting services, then dental care.

Suburban Animal Clinic is located in West Columbus off I-70 near I-270.  Suburban Animal Clinic serves Galloway, Hilltop, West Side, Georgesville, West Jefferson, Grove City, Grandview, Upper Arlington (including OSU Campus area), Hilliard and Dublin.