It’s Pet Dental Month!

Pets use their mouths every day to eat, drink, groom, communicate, and play. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that dental care is a key aspect of ensuring the best quality of life for your pet.Dental disease is extremely common in animals and is known to affect over 80% of pets aged three and older. With cats, in particular, periodontal disease is the most common dental disease putting their health at risk. 1

Periodontal disease begins with gingivitis where plaque and bacteria build up on the teeth causing gum inflammation. If the plaque is not removed and gingivitis is not treated, over time the inflammation spreads deeper into the mouth weakening the structure of the teeth. Animals with periodontal disease are often in pain, and at risk of tooth loss.4

Although it can be difficult to detect symptoms of dental disease as a pet owner, there are some signs that you can watch out for. Common manifestations of dental disease include sensitivity around the face, changes in food preference to soft foods or swallowing dry food without chewing and increased drooling. You may also notice red and inflamed gums in addition to yellow, loose, or missing teeth.2

Luckily, there are many simple solutions to preventing dental disease. Everyday practices to maintain good dental health include brushing your cat’s teeth, adopting a dental-friendly diet, and using oral hygiene products. Lastly, making regular visits to the vet for oral exams and dental cleanings when necessary is best .3

One veterinarian who often treats animals with dental disease is Dr. Sukhi Singh of Balmy Beach Pet Hospital. In her practice, it is one of the most common issues she sees. Through the Balmy Beach Pet Hospital’s partnership with the Toronto Cat Rescue (TCR), Dr. Sukhi treats a large number of rescues. A majority of her TCR patients come to the clinic for much needed dental procedures and leave smiling!

“Working with TCR is such a satisfying part of my job. The level of care TCR provides to their intake felines is truly commendable. And meticulous attention is paid to their dental health as well. A lot of the cats that I have had coming in through my practice through TCR receive some level of dental care, including dental x-rays to identity diseased teeth, extractions as/if necessary, and a cleaning and polishing. The level of dedication and care towards their rescues is above and beyond. I consider myself extremely fortunate to be a part of this cohesive network of wonderful team, fosters, volunteers and drivers. It wouldn’t be possible without the relentless effort of so many individuals.”

As a pet owner, you always want the best for your animal. Be sure to practice good dental hygiene habits, keep an eye out for any signs of periodontal disease, and go to the vet for regular check-ups.

References

1.https://icatcare.org

2.https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/

3.https://avdc.org

4.https://vcahospitals.com

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