According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, more than 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of dental disease by age three. Caused by plaque and tartar buildup, periodontal disease can cause tooth loss and oral lesions. Dental disease can also have a secondary effect on certain body organs (such as the heart, kidneys, and liver) and can cause diseases.

Please continue reading to find out if it’s time to get your pet a dental!

1) Your Pet might need a dental if…
Their breath smells bad!

The bacteria and plaque that form in your pets’ mouth eat away at their teeth and consequently, the breaking down of their chompers is what causes bad breath. Constant breathing and swallowing of plaque is detrimental to pets’ organs and may cause long term organ damage.

2) Your Pet Might Need a Dental If…
Their gums are angry red

So, how often should you “flip the lip?” Better yet, how often should you brush your pets’ teeth? Ideally, once a day. Realistically?? Once every three to four days. If you notice angry red gums like the picture above, your pet’s tartar accumulation has already started causing the gums to pull away from your pets’ teeth. This eventually will lead to infection and further dental disease.

3) Your Pet Might Need a Dental If…
You notice blood on their chew toys

Your pets’ pain tolerance is higher than ours. What sends us to the dentist, your pet will seem to brush off like it’s nothing. Don’t get us wrong though, dogs and cats have the same nerves and pain receptors as we have, but your pet reacts to pain in different ways. If you start seeing blood on your fur babies chew toys, this is a positive indicator that your pet has already started to develop dental disease.

4) Your Pet Might Need a Dental If…
They normally eat soft food

Yes, wet pet food is definitely more appetizing than small round balls of kibble BUT the downside to your pet only eating soft food is the lack of tarter being scraped off the teeth when compared to eating dry food. Pets who eat dry kibble have tons more tartar being scraped off their teeth while chewing those crunchy nibbles.

5) Your Pet Might Need a Dental If…
Your vet recommends it!

At each annual examination, your vet should examine your pets’ mouth. Dogs and cats are very good hiders of disease so it’s very important to have them looked at by a professional.

If your pet is experiencing any of these top 5 things above please read these stages of dental disease to see which one your pet might be in.

The 4 stages of pet dental disease:

Stage 1 – This early stage is characterized by gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gums in response to the presence of tartar and bacteria.
Stage 2 – Also known as early periodontitis, this stage occurs when there is a small amount of bone loss. You may notice inflammation of your pet’s gums, bad breath, and some visible plaque and tartar.
Stage 3 – Serious dental damage has begun. Gums will be swollen and irritated and probably bleed easily. Your pet may also experience bad breath and significant pain and need to have infected & damaged teeth removed.
Stage 4 – Extreme, chronic periodontal disease is evident in this 4th and final stage. Your pet is not only in severe pain, but it is at risk of losing multiple teeth, as well as infection and damage to their internal organs due to bacteria from the mouth entering the bloodstream and spreading throughout the body.

If you’re ready to flip the lip and get your pets’ mouth checked, Pawsh Place Vet Center offers free dental examinations and estimates. You can schedule your appointment by clicking here.