Oral and Dental
Often overlooked as it relates to a pet's comprehensive health status, animal dental care is needed to provide quality of life and optimal well-being. If left untreated, diseases of the mouth, gums or jaw are not only painful to your companion, but may also be contributing factors to more widespread systemic disease processes. The American Veterinary Dental Society reports that 70-85% of dogs and cats show signs of oral disease by age 3.
The beginning and severity of periodontal disease depends on age, breed, diet and at-home care, with younger, with small-breed dogs typically presenting with infection earlier than large-breed dogs. Abnormal signs and symptoms of dental abnormalities include: pain, bad breath, excessive drooling, fractured or loose teeth, swelling or bleeding of the gums, tumors, sores or wounds.
While it is understandable that pet owners may be concerned about bad breath and unsightly tartar accumulation, regular dental care is more than cosmetic: Tartar and plaque, often invaded by bacteria, need to be removed to counteract subsequent infection, gingivitis or pyorrhea (infection of tissues surrounding the teeth), with 60% of disease occurring below the gum line.