Friday, January 18, 2019

Healthy Paws Blog


Here you will find informational articles on how to keep your pet happy and healthy! You will also find the latest news about our practice.

Caring for your pet’s teeth

Everyone can understand the importance of dental for their pets because the risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease is the same for animals as it is for people.  There is no reason to believe that animals do not feel the same pain of sore gums and a tooth ache that people feel.  So, the main reason to care for your pet’s teeth is to prevent discomfort.

If you never brushed your teeth, your mouth would be sore and you would have trouble eating.  You might feel tired all of the time because the infection in your mouth would spread throughout your body.  The same thing happens in your pet’s mouth.  The mouth is the door to the rest of the body.  It has a very good immune system to protect it against the constant bombardment of bacteria and toxins it deals with every minute.  But it needs some help.  We must keep it clean of the plaque that is constantly forming on the teeth.

Plaque is a clear, thick substance consisting of saliva, bacteria, and food particles.  In fact, plaque is 80% bacteria and forms within 6-8 hours after brushing.  It sticks to the teeth and collects in the pockets around the teeth.  If not removed, an infection will result.  This infection will eventually overwhelm the body’s immune system and lead to destruction of the bone around the tooth roots as well as the soft tissues surrounding and anchoring the tooth in the socket. Eventually, the teeth become loose, painful and fall out. 

Signs of gingivitis and periodontal disease include:

* Bad breath

* Drooling

* Difficulty chewing or eating

* Vomiting

* Brownish-yellow calculus (tartar accumulation) on teeth

* Receded gums

* Loose or missing teeth

* Swollen or red gums that may bleed when touched

The best defense against plaque  and tartar accumulation and subsequent periodontal disease  is regular home care including brushing, dental rinses, application of plaque barriers, water additives,  dental chews & dental in combination with periodic professional cleaning and dental assessments by your veterinarian, a procedure called a COHAT for short (Complete Oral Assessment and Treatment). 

Your Healthy Paws veterinarian is your pet’s dentist as well as their medical doctor.  Please ask if you have any questions about the health of your pet’s mouth.  Your veterinarian may recommend that a COHAT be performed.  Depending on your ability to brush the teeth and your pet’s genetic susceptibility, a professional cleaning may need to be repeated every 6 months to every few years.

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