Wicker Park Pet Owners: Understanding Pet Dental Disease and How to Prevent It

Most owners of dogs and cats have been told the importance of oral hygiene in our pets from a vet. This is partially because dental disease is fairly common in our pets and also because dental disease in cats and dogs can be difficult to treat once it has gotten severe.

In addition to being fairly common and difficult to treat in our pets once it has progressed, dental disease in cats and dogs has been linked to other complications as well. As a result, it is always best for pet owners to prevent dental disease when it comes to keeping their pets healthy.

pet dental disease in Wicker Park, Chicago

In this article we will be explaining everything that pet owners need to know about dental disease in dogs and cats. This includes the symptoms of dental disease, how pet owners can prevent it, and how it is treated and diagnosed. Alright, let’s get into it.

What Is Pet Dental Disease?

Dental disease refers to conditions that affect the teeth and gums. In dogs and cats the most common forms of dental disease include broken teeth, gingivitis, and periodontal disease.

Of course, broken teeth is just what it sounds like. This occurs when an animal breaks its tooth. This is usually a result of them chewing or biting something that was too hard for them.

Gingivitis is an infection that occurs in the gum after a buildup of tartar. This then develops into periodontal disease if left untreated. Periodontal disease is when the infection spreads from the gums to the other tissue around a pet’s tooth.

What Are The Symptoms Of Dental Disease In Animals?

Although there are different kinds of dental disease in our pets, the symptoms of dental disease usually appear very similar. Here are some signs of dental disease in dogs and cats that you should look out for.

  • Bad breath
  • Pain while chewing (especially dry food and treats)
  • Reduced appetite
  • Noticeable tartar build up
  • Sneezing
  • Red and inflamed gums
  • Swelling in the gums
  • Bleeding from the gums
  • Loose and missing teeth (severe)
  • Broken or cracked teeth

If you have noticed any of the above signs of dental disease in your dog or cat, then it is a good idea to take them to the vet as soon as you can. This way you can get the issue addressed and prevent their dental disease from worsening. It is important to note that cats may not exhibit signs of pain as dogs do when they have dental disease.

What Causes Dental Disease in Pets?

Most of the time dental disease in our pets is a result of their teeth not being cleaned properly or frequently enough. This is the cause for both gingivitis and periodontal disease. That’s why it’s so important to have your pet’s teeth cleaned professionally at least once a year.

When it comes to broken teeth, this is usually caused by a dog or a cat trying to chew or bite something that was too hard for them.

However, broken teeth can also occur as a result of other things like falls and fights with other animals.

How To Prevent Dental Disease In Our Pets?

Dental disease in cats and dogs is easier to prevent than it is to treat. This is especially true when it comes to severe periodontal disease. Luckily, there are some things that pet owners can do to prevent dental disease in their pets.

Possibly the best way that you can prevent dental disease in your pets is to clean their teeth on a regular basis. Of course, it is best to start doing this when your pet is still young, but starting later in your pet’s life is definitely better than never.

You can purchase toothbrushes and toothpaste that are made for pets and brush their teeth manually. You should always ensure that toothpaste is created for animal use, and you should never give a pet toothpaste that was created for humans. It is best to brush your pet’s teeth everyday, but it is alright if you do it several times a week at minimum.

There are also dental treats available for dogs and cats. This helps prevent the buildup of tartar by removing new tartar from their teeth as they chew on it. Although these dental treats can be great for pets, they are not technically as good as actually brushing your pet’s teeth.

By bringing in your pet for routine wellness care visits, we will be able to spot any dental problems early on and provide the care they need to keep their smile healthy and bright.

How Is Dental Disease Diagnosed?

Dental disease in our pets is almost always diagnosed by a physical exam by a vet. Here they will look inside of your pet’s mouth and discover what type of dental disease that they have and find out how severe it is.

In addition to this, some vets may also take an X-Ray of your pet’s mouth to discover how extensive your pet’s dental disease is. Once your pet has been diagnosed by your vet, they will then present you with some treatment options.

How Is Dental Disease Treated?

Dental disease in dogs and cats is treated in a variety of different ways depending on what type of dental disease they have and how severe it is. For example, your pet may need to have a tooth removed if it is rotted or severely cracked.

When it comes to gingivitis it is actually fairly treatable with regular dental cleanings from a vet and taking care of your pet’s teeth and gums on a daily basis. This is especially true when gingivitis is caught early. Doing both of these things will prevent your pet’s gingivitis from progressing, and it may even be cured after a while in some cases.

Unfortunately, periodontal disease is a bit more tricky to treat. Considering that this condition includes an infection beyond a pet’s gums In mild cases a vet may call for regular dental cleaning from them and a more vigorous cleaning routine at home. However, severe cases of periodontal disease may require surgery.

Is Dental Disease Curable?

Gingivitis is a type of dental disease that is potentially curable in pets when caught early on. Unfortunately, the prospects for curing a pet’s periodontal disease are not as good, and it is usually a condition that is simply managed in pets.

Routine Care Can Help Prevent Pet Dental Disease in Wicker Park

At Companion Animal Hospital Wicker Park, we’re committed to providing the best possible care for pet owners in and around the Wicker Park area in Chicago. 

When you schedule a dental procedure for your pet within 30 days of having an exam and bloodwork done, you’ll receive $40 off your pet’s dental visit!

If you have any questions concerning your pet’s dental or overall health, give us a call!

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