How Can I Tell if My Pet Has Dental Problems?

By September 23, 2019 November 7th, 2019 Blog

There are a variety of dental problems pets can develop, and perhaps the most common is periodontal disease. Almost 90 percent of adult pets will develop periodontal disease to some extent at some point in their lives. This can result in pain in the mouth, tooth loss and chronic infections that, if left untreated, could spread to other parts of the body, including the heart, kidneys, liver and lungs.

It is absolutely crucial for pet owners to take an active role in ensuring the dental health of their pets. This means knowing the signs of periodontal disease when they begin to manifest, and visiting a veterinarian in Egg Harbor Township, NJ at the first sign of trouble.

Some of the most common signs of dental problems in dogs and cats include:

  • Bad breath: Sure, your pet’s breath probably doesn’t usually smell good, but you should at least be able to discern when it is noticeably worse than normal. This could be a sign of infections related to common dental problems.
  • Increased drooling: This is more likely to be noticed in dogs than cats, but be on the lookout for increased drooling amount and frequency. Again, some animals drool regularly, but by keeping an eye on your pet you should be able to determine when the problem is worse than normal.
  • Irritated gums: Be on the lookout for red, swollen or bleeding gums. Any of these problems could be the sign of an infection or dental disease. Your pet’s mouth may be stained on the fur around the edges with reddish brown blood.
  • Tartar: A significant buildup of tartar on the teeth and plaque-like deposits that are a yellowish-brown color could indicate the onset of some dental problems in your pet.
  • Eating problems: If your pet starts to become reluctant to eat and seems to have lost their appetite, this could be a sign that they’re dealing with pain in the mouth or other dental issues. Your pet might even lose some weight if the problem gets bad enough where they stop eating as much over a longer period of time.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is a good idea to take your pet to the vet and have some dental x-rays performed. This can determine what issues exist in the teeth and gums and the extent to which those issues have progressed.

However, you can avoid many of these issues by staying on top of oral care for your pets at home, starting from the time the pet is young. Regular teeth brushing helps prevent the risk of oral disease. There are special dog toothpastes you can find that prevent plaque buildup and eat away at some of the plaque on a pet’s teeth. There are also dental water additives and rinses that can be a good option for pets who make it difficult to brush their teeth.

For more information about the various steps you can take to protect your pet’s oral health, contact Newkirk Family Veterinarians today to speak with a veterinarian in Egg Harbor Township, NJ.


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