Take a minute to look at your dog’s or cat’s teeth. Now look at your own teeth in the mirror. Picture what your smile would look like if you had the same amount of tartar, plaque, gum redness and swelling, or gum recession that you saw on your pet’s teeth. Just as it is for humans, the degree of dental disease in our pets is not only an indication of their oral health, but of their entire bodies’ well being.
Of course, our furry children’s oral hygiene differs from ours in some ways. Our pets do not have the luxury of flossing and brushing their teeth. Their dental plaque (the bacteria-ridden substance that develops on teeth) hardens into a shell called dental calculus. Underneath this shell there is less oxygen, creating an environment for entirely different species of bacteria to grow than those that normally grow on our teeth. This calculus and its community of more dangerous bacteria extend under the gums, eating away at bone, tooth attachments, and tissue. This causes gum recession, tooth loss, and dental abscesses (painful pockets of infection that can make your pet very sick). Some animals will have such bad bone loss their entire jaw will break!
You may be wondering: How do I know when it is time for a dental cleaning so I can prevent these issues in my pet? An annual exam is key. Cats and dogs are notoriously bad at letting us know when they are in pain or experiencing discomfort. Animal Medical Hospital Pasadena will check your pet’s teeth during their annual exam and let you know if your pet would benefit from a cleaning, as well as what you can do at home to extend the time in between your pet’s dental cleanings.
Animal Medical Hospital Pasadena is located at 2116 E Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena. Call (626) 796-3019 or visit www.amhpasadena.net/.