What Are Common Pet Dental Problems?

For many pet parents, the thought of their furry friend having dental issues isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when they consider their pet’s health. However, just like in humans, dental health can significantly impact a pet’s overall well-being. 

Dental problems can be stealthy, creeping up on your pet without obvious symptoms. By knowing what to watch out for, you can be one step ahead in maintaining your pet’s dental health.

1. Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is the big one; it’s the most common dental condition in pets. Plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth can lead to inflamed gums and tooth loss and can even affect their organs if bacteria enter the bloodstream through the gums.

  • Gum inflammation (gingivitis)

  • Loss of bone and soft tissue around teeth

  • Bad breath (halitosis)

  • Difficulty eating or loss of appetite

Veterinary dentistry is a field dedicated to maintaining and treating your pet’s dental health. Experts in this field have the know-how and tools to provide top-notch dental care and can be found at specialized facilities. For more informed insights and services, a click away leads to https://www.auroraveterinaryhospital.com/site/veterinary-services-seattle/dentistry, where a treasure trove of information and aid awaits.

2. Tooth Decay and Cavities

While relatively rare compared to humans, pets can also suffer from tooth decay and cavities. If left untreated, cavities can cause pain and tooth loss. Signs of tooth decay may include visible decay, tooth sensitivity, and discomfort while eating.

3. Broken Teeth and Root Exposure

Pets are susceptible to broken teeth due to activities like chewing on hard objects, rough play, or accidents. Broken teeth can expose the roots, leading to pain and potential infection. Symptoms of broken teeth may include pain, reluctance to eat, and bleeding from the mouth.

4. Dental Abscesses

Dental abscesses can occur when a tooth becomes infected, leading to the formation of a pocket of pus. These abscesses can cause severe pain and discomfort for pets and may require drainage and antibiotic treatment. Symptoms may include swelling around the affected tooth, pain while chewing, and reluctance to eat.

Dental emergencies can occur just like any other medical emergency. If your pet experiences oral trauma, has a severe infection, or you notice rapid changes in their mouth, don’t hesitate to seek urgent vet care.

5. Gingival Hyperplasia

Gingival hyperplasia refers to an overgrowth of the gums, which can result from various factors such as genetics, certain medications, or chronic inflammation. This condition can lead to difficulty eating, increased plaque and tartar buildup, and an increased risk of periodontal disease if left untreated.

6. Malocclusion

Malocclusion refers to misalignment of the teeth or jaws, which can cause problems with eating, chewing, and overall oral health. Pets with malocclusion may experience pain, difficulty closing their mouths properly, and an increased risk of dental issues such as periodontal disease and tooth decay. Treatment may involve orthodontic procedures or tooth extraction, depending on the severity of the condition.

Incorporating Dental Hygiene Into Your Pet’s Routine

Just like you, your pet needs a dental routine. Brushing their teeth regularly with pet-safe toothpaste, providing dental chews, and scheduling regular check-ups can do wonders in preventing these common ailments.

  • Brushing teeth at home with a pet-friendly toothbrush

  • Offering dental treats and toys designed to clean teeth

  • Scheduling professional cleanings and examinations

Signs That Your Pet May Have Dental Issues

You might only sometimes spot a dental problem just by peering into your pet’s mouth. Here are some telltale signs that can point toward trouble:

  • Chronic bad breath

  • Visible tartar or plaque on teeth

  • Swollen or bleeding gums

  • Changes in eating or chewing habits

  • Pawing at the mouth or face

  • Unusual drooling

If you spot any of these signs, it’s time to schedule a visit to the vet for a dental check-up. In the hustle and bustle of caring for your four-legged friend, you might wonder where to turn for professional help. Look no further than a trusted pet hospital that understands the unique needs of your furry family member. 

How Diet Affects Dental Health

What your pet eats affects their dental health. Some foods can help clean their teeth, while others might contribute to plaque buildup. Specially formulated dental diets and treats can also aid in keeping those chompers in check.

Seek out diets specifically designed for dental health and offer dental chews that have a mechanical or enzymatic action to reduce plaque and tartar.

What Happens During a Professional Dental Cleaning?

If you’ve shied away from scheduling a dental cleaning for your pet because you’re not quite sure what it entails, here’s a rundown:

  • Pre-anesthesia exams and blood work to ensure it’s safe to proceed

  • Anesthesia to keep your pet comfortable and still during the procedure

  • Scaling to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth and below the gum line

  • Polishing to smooth the tooth surfaces and prevent future plaque buildup

  • Possibly extractions if some teeth are too far gone to save

A professional cleaning is thorough and can significantly improve your pet’s oral health.

Wrapping Up

Dental issues can be subtle, even when they’re serious. Understanding the common dental problems that pets face will prepare you to make the best decisions for their care. Keeping those canine and feline smiles sparkling is a duty as much as it is a joy – because a healthy pet is a happy pet, and that’s what really counts.