Vet Blog

February is National Pet Dental Health Month: Why Your Pet Needs Dental Care, Too

February 17, 2022

February is National Pet Dental Health Month, and your pet needs to see the dentist, too.

Studies show that healthy teeth can make your pet live healthier and longer. Dental hygiene affects almost every part of your pet's overall health, and National Pet Dental Health Month is reminding you to make your pet's oral health a priority.

Statistics from the American Veterinary Medical Association report that more than 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats will have some dental disease by the time they turn three. Dental diseases do not only affect the teeth; they can also have unfavorable consequences for your pet's kidneys, hearts, and other key organs.

By cleaning their teeth regularly and taking them for a dental exam at least once or twice a year, you are adding years to your pet's life.

Why Your Pet Needs Dental Care

Here is why taking your pet to the dentist is necessary.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a common and major health concern for pets of all ages. The disease affects the oral tissues, causing your pet's teeth to start falling out as a result. Moreover, periodontal disease can affect major body organs, causing fatal diseases or worsening the symptoms of existing illnesses.

Apart from routine dental cleanings at home, taking your pet to the vet can help prevent or control periodontal disease.

Removing Plaque

Without good oral care, your pet can develop a buildup of plaque. This accumulation of plaque can cause periodontal disease. Brushing their teeth properly and regularly can help remove plaque. However, if the plaque does not clear up, seek help from the veterinary dentist.

Pets Are Good at Hiding Pain

Dogs and cats are very good at concealing pain. As such, you may never know that your dog or cat has a serious oral issue until the problem has advanced.

Teeth Wear Down

Pets usually wear down their teeth by nibbling toys, bones, and other objects. Teeth can get scratches and grazes depending on what and how your pet chews. As a result, the teeth begin to wear out over time because of the friction they experience.

A regular dental exam can catch the symptoms of wear and tear early, keeping your pet from feeling the pain of extremely worn-out teeth.

Visit Your Pet's Dentist

Your pet cannot tell you when their teeth are feeling sensitive. So, unless you are keen about their dental health or taking them to the dentist regularly, you may not know that your pet needs help until they are in pain.

Some of the signs you can be checking for include:

  • Bad breath
  • Loose or discolored teeth
  • Bleeding in the mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Food falling from the mouth or drooling
  • Loss of weight

To learn more about why your pet needs dental care or to book an appointment, contact Goose Creek Veterinary Hospital at our office in Ashburn, VA by calling (571) 291-9110.

For emergencies, you can visit The LifeCentre in Leesburg, Virginia, or call 703-777-5755.