There's an old saying that dogs' mouths are cleaner than ours, but ask any veterinarian and she will tell you that pet mouths are just a different kind of dirty! February is National Pet Dental Health Month, so we are focusing on an important but often overlooked aspect of animal health care: the mouth. It's a sad fact that 75% of pets will develop some type of dental problem or disease by age three, so let's talk teeth.
Animal dentistry isn't actually that different from our own, and as with human oral hygiene, an ounce of prevention (or a dollop of toothpaste) can save you a root canal's worth of grief. What can make oral care so tricky is that by the time we feel discomfort, things have already gone very wrong and may need a lot of work to fix, and that's doubly true with animals. After all, Fluffy can't tell us when her gums are feeling sensitive, so unless we are proactive about taking our dogs and cats in to the experts, we have no way of knowing that our pets need help until they are in actual pain.
As for what sort of dental problems pets can suffer, the short answer is that if we can get it then they probably can, too. Periodontal disease in dogs and cats
is surprisingly common, as are build-ups of tartar and plaque. Cavities are relatively rare in dogs unless they are given table scraps and sweets, but toothaches can be common. Then of course there's halitosis—we may joke about dog breath, but the reality is that bad breath in dogs may actually be a warning sign of serious oral hygiene issues. There are also issues such as crooked teeth, loose teeth, too many teeth or not enough—like we said, if it's a problem people can have, then our four-legged pals can suffer from it, too! And cats are really no different. Oral diseases and dental problems such as periodontal disease (which affects an estimated 85% of cats), oral cancer, gingivitis, and fractured teeth are all-too common in felines. With all these potential dental issues, how do you, as a responsible pet owner, figure out where to start? The first order of business is getting a baseline idea of your animal's oral health. Being proactive is good for your pet and good for your pocket book, so bring them into an experienced Marlboro veterinarian
for a dental exam at your earliest convenience.
Once the veterinarians have completed their exam they can advise you on the proper oral home care you can provide. There are a wide array of oral gels and sprays you can use at home to take care of your pet's teeth, as well as specially formulated dental treats and foods. Daily brushing is ideal for some animals, but once a week may be enough for others, especially in conjunction with rinses or water additives designed to improve oral health. A proactive exam schedule for your cat or dog will hopefully nip any problems in the bud before in-hospital procedures become necessary, but if and when they do, the experts at ahc can take of that, too.
So while February is National Pet Dental Health Month
, you'll really want to implement a tailored oral health care program year round. Come over to the Animal Health Care of Marlboro dental care page for more information, and visit the contact page
to make an appointment for an exam. During February, we are offering $50 off your pet’s next dental assessment/cleaning and treatment procedure if it’s scheduled during Dental Health Month. Space is limited so don’t delay! Let’s get those mouths back to clean, white, healthy, and bright today!
We look forward to giving you and your furry friend something worth smiling about at our location in Englishtown, NJ!