Like you, your animal companion can also suffer from the health dangers of poor oral hygiene. Various dental issues can affect your pet that, if not treated, can potentially turn into much more severe conditions. Your furry pal’s oral health is an essential part of their overall health. If you don’t include it in your priority list, you risk your pet’s health and well-being. Here are some of the problems you can avoid by paying attention to your beloved companion’s dental health:
Sadly, more than 80 percent of pets suffer from gum disease by the time they turn three years old. It starts with gingivitis, which is characterized by gum inflammation. Here, your cat’s or dog’s gums may look redder than usual. It would seem swollen and may tend to bleed easily. This stage of gum disease is reversible and not yet destructive. With professional teeth cleaning and good dental care habits, your pet’s gums can go back to their normal condition. Otherwise, the disease can turn into periodontitis. This is a more severe case of gum inflammation and is considered irreversible. This is because the bone loss that will have occurred will not regenerate. What you can only do at this point is stop the damage from its tracks.
Tooth Root Abscess
This refers to a severe infection that develops around your pet’s tooth roots. It’s generally caused by bacteria entering through their decayed or fractured tooth. It may also occur secondary to gum disease. Tooth root abscesses are extremely painful. But your cat or dog may not show visible signs of discomfort. Instead, your four-legged friend may pull away when you touch their head. They may drop food when eating or only chew on one side of their mouth. You will also notice that your pet will be reluctant to chew on their toys. Some pets will start to have bad breath. Others may demonstrate discomfort by rubbing their faces on the ground or pawing on the affected side of their face. Since an abscessed tooth is excruciating, immediate treatment is often necessary. Antibiotics and painkillers may be prescribed for temporary relief. But the underlying injury can only be resolved either by root canal therapy or tooth extraction.
Other Infections and Health Problems
Severe inflammation can lead to bacteremia, which refers to the presence of bacteria in the blood. When the infection spreads throughout your body through your bloodstream, this can affect the other organs in your body. These include your heart, kidneys, urinary tract, lungs, liver, and joints. Besides, dental disease is generally associated with oral pain. The discomfort and loose teeth caused by cavities, gum disease, and abscesses can make ordinary activities difficult for your animal companion. The pain will cause them to avoid eating, playing, or grooming. Over time, this can lead to weight loss and malnourishment. Unless addressed, your pet will be at risk of developing heart diseases, gastrointestinal problems, and liver issues.
Caring for your pet’s dental health can significantly reduce their risk of various diseases. Reach out to our professional team at Animal Emergency Clinic of San Diego to discuss options to improve their oral health today.