Pet Dental Care: 101 - Pet InsurancePet Insurance
Feb 2015

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Pet Dental Care: 101

Dog Dental HealthThese pets helped us announce Pet Dental Care Month last week, but they didn’t tell you why Pet Dental Health is so important! What good dental care prevents is periodontal disease. This is a condition that causes irreversible damage to your pet’s teeth, gums and other supporting structures. Put simply, Periodontal disease is caused by poor dental hygiene, which allows an accumulation of plaque to build in your pet’s mouth.This build up of tartar creates the perfect environment for destructive bacteria to thrive and leads to inflammation and infection. We’ve gathered five surprising facts to help you understand and prevent periodontal disease in your pet:

1: Periodontal disease is the most common condition seen in cats and dogs.
With all of the other illnesses that cats and dogs are known to suffer from, it may be surprising that periodontal disease is the most common. What makes it worse is that it’s also completely preventable with the right dental care routines.

2: Halitosis is the most common sign of oral disease.
Could your pet’s breath strip paint? Then it’s probably time to take them for a dental checkup! Your pet’s breath is never going to smell minty fresh, but an offensive odor is definitely not something to ignore. The excessive bacteria associated with periodontal disease are often the culprit of bad smells. It’s important to kick that bacteria in the butt before it has the chance to cause irreversible damage to your pet’s mouth.

Dog Dental Cleaning3: Dental disease is not always visible to the naked eye.
Those bacteria we just mentioned, they have another talent in addition to their bad smell causing antics: they’re sneaky. Periodontal disease can cause damage to your pet’s teeth and the structures that support them below the gumline. The best way to ensure your pet has a healthy mouth is to have their teeth cleaned at the vets at least once per year, more frequently if you have a breed of dog more prone to dental problems.

4: Although gingivitis is reversible, the damage it causes isn’t.
Humans are taught over and over to look for signs of gingivitis (gum inflammation) and the ways we can prevent it. Yet, we as owners aren’t as on the ball when it comes following a dental care routine for our pets. Obviously, it’s impossible to ask them to rinse and spit with mouthwash every day but it is possible to brush their teeth frequently to prevent gingivitis and the long-term damage it can cause.

Pet Dental Care5. Periodontal Disease has been shown to cause damage to the heart, kidneys and liver.
Dental Disease doesn’t just cause problems localized to your pet’s mouth. Studies have shown that the bacteria associated with advanced periodontal disease causes microscopic changes in the pet’s heart, kidneys, and liver. This damage is irreversible and can lead to a host of serious health problems.

Next week we’ll be looking at the best ways to keep your pet’s mouth clean and healthy. Follow us on Facebook

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