Did you know that periodontal disease is a health threat to our dogs and cats? Just like in humans, food particles and bacteria build up along the gum line causing inflammation. The food particles, bacteria and saliva form plaque, which can separate the gums from the teeth. In time this causes cavities, tooth loss, bone loss and tissue problems. Half of the pets over three years old have some amount periodontal disease. As your local Lansdale pet sitter and a pet owner myself, I see a lot of pets with periodontal disease.
Signs of periodontal disease:
- Bad breath
- Yellow / brown crust around gum line / bleeding gums
- Excessive drooling
- Pawing the mouth / not wanting anyone to touch their mouth or face
- Changes in eating behavior/weight loss
- Tooth loss
The easiest and best way to prevent periodontal disease is to brush your pets teeth. Do not use human toothpaste! There are toothbrushes, toothpaste or swabs made for use in our pets mouths.
There are various dental care food and snacks produced for our pets. They do help to reduce tartar and plaque but can’t get below gum line where the real problem is. It has been shown that moist cat food is better than hard kibble for cat dental care. The kibble requires a chewing force, which wears away at tooth roots. As a side effect, cats eating moist cat food have less kidney and bladder stones and crystals.
Take your dog or cat to the Vet for their physical every year, so that your Vet can assess your pets teeth!