With an understanding that it only takes 24 hours for bacteria to solidify into plaque, daily plaque removal is essential to good oral hygiene. Imagine not brushing your teeth for five years, as with most pets. How do you suppose you would feel?
If left untreated, plaque will build up, form calculus, inflame the gums, and then infection progresses to loosen and destroy the tooth’s attachment. Once this occurs, removal of the tooth and, most likely, the ones around it is necessary.
Effects on Heart, Kidneys, and Liver
The infection that causes the deterioration of the teeth and bone eventually moves into the bloodstream, where billions of bacteria must be filtered by the liver and kidneys. Constant clearing of a low-grade infection with no outward signs in your pet can result in an overwhelmed immune system. Liver, kidney, and heart infections can occur from dental disease in our pets, much like in people. A decrease in organ function or a heart murmur makes it easier for bacteria to take hold and cause damage and organ failure.
Without question, dental radiographs are the best way to see what’s happening under the gum line. Teeth may look fine above the gum line, but below can be a different story. The ability to see below the gum line is invaluable as it can tell us what your pet can’t. Kennesaw Mountain Animal Hospital urges our clients to have dental radiographs performed to catch infection and bone loss before it has a chance to progress.
Signs of Dental Disease include, but are not limited to:
- Bad breath
- Excessive drooling
- Dropping food
- Sudden disinterest in chew toys
- Loss of appetite
- Swollen or painful face
- Pawing at the mouth
- Yellow, broken, loose, or missing teeth
- Gums that are red, swollen, or bleeding
If your pet is exhibiting any of these symptoms, it’s time to schedule an exam. We can determine the problem and address it quickly, improving the prognosis for your loved one.
Kennesaw Mountain Animal Hospital’s team of experienced doctors can have your pet back to “smiling.” Let us provide the guidance you need to ensure a long, happy, pain-free life with your beloved pet.