Oral health in dogs and cats
Your pet’s teeth should be checked at least once a year by your veterinarian for early signs of a problem and to keep your pet’s mouth healthy. Have your pet’s teeth checked sooner if you observe any of the following problems:
- Bad breath
- Broken or loose teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
- Abnormal chewing, drooling or dropping food from the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Pain in or around the mouth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth
Some pets become irritable when they have dental problems, and any changes in your pet’s behavior should prompt a visit to your veterinarian. Always be careful when evaluating your pet’s mouth, because a painful animal may bite.
Dental disease is very common in pets over five years of age. It tends to be worse in small breeds, although any breed can be affected.
Causes of pet dental problems
Although cavities are less common in pets than in people, they can have many of the same dental problems that people can develop:
- Broken teeth and roots
- Periodontal disease
- Abscesses or infected teeth
- Cysts or tumors in the mouth
- Malocclusion, or misalignment of the teeth and bite
- Broken (fractured) jaw
- Palate defects (such as cleft palate)
If you see or suspect any of the problems in your pet, or if it has just been a while since they had a good oral exam, give us a call!