While most pet owners stay on top of their pets’ vaccinations and check-ups, it’s easy to forget about the importance of routine dental care to maintain good oral health. This can be a problem, as periodontal disease is the most common health problem that veterinarians find in pets. Many of these conditions can be very painful and can even lead to serious systemic conditions – an untreated dental infection can spread to the heart, kidneys and other organs, and suddenly become life-threatening.
While regular dental checkups are essential to help maintain pets’ oral health, there are a number of signs that dental disease has already started. If you notice any of the symptoms below, make sure to get your pet checked out by a veterinarian as soon as possible:
- Bad breath – while most pets have breath that is less than fresh, if it becomes truly repugnant, that’s a sign that periodontal disease has already started.
- Frequent pawing or rubbing at the face and/or mouth.
- Reluctance to eat hard foods.
- Red swollen gums and brownish teeth.
For more information on this topic, you can visit the American Veterinary Medical Association’s website and read more at https://www.avma.org/News/PressRoom/Pages/Pet-Dental-2013.aspx.