February marks “Pet Dental Health Month,” and there’s no better time to clean your pet’s teeth.
Just like human beings should take dental hygiene seriously, regular cleanings can protect pets from something called “periodontal disease.”
What is periodontal disease?
More commonly known as gum disease, it is an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. If it goes untreated, periodontal disease can shorten the life of your pet by infecting vital organs and the entire immune system.
It's more common than you think.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats will exhibit some level of periodontal disease by two years of age. Chances are, your pet is affected too.
One sign of oral decay is bad breath.
If you smell something stinky, it’s definitely time to take your pet to a dental specialist. Many pet owners assume bad breath is normal in animals, but it isn’t! In fact, it can be the sign of a serious problem. Think of bad breath as a call to action.
The best way to act is by scheduling a dental cleaning.
They’re easy to find—Hometown Veterinary Care performs dental cleanings on a daily basis. And they’re not difficult to execute: The entire cleaning process takes about 30 minutes, and it’s similar to your typical cleaning at the dentist. A dental specialist will use a tool called an “ultra-sonic scaler” on your pet’s teeth, removing tartar and calculus above and below the gum line. Severely diseased teeth may need to be taken out altogether. The remaining teeth, meanwhile, are polished (just like ours) and a fluoride treatment is applied.
The end result is not only a cleaner mouth, but also a healthier and happier animal. Take dental cleanings seriously, and your pet’s quality of life will improve exponentially.