If you really struggle to hold your cat or dog still long enough to brush their teeth, you may choose to use dental treats. Now while these alone are not enough to maintain your pet’s oral hygiene, they are a good way to help break up tartar on your pet’s teeth. With many dental toys also available to choose from, looking after your pet’s teeth has never been easier. When used in conjunction with regular teeth brushing, not only will your trips to the vet for dental lessen overall. Regular oral hygiene can lessen your pet’s chances significantly of developing tartar build-up, bad breath, gum disease, gingivitis and in some cases heart disease, liver disease and kidney disease.
There are two main types of gum disease that can affect your pets. Periodontal disease and Gingivitis.
Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease brought on by a build-up and hardening of plaque on your pet’s teeth. Once plaque has time to build-up and harden, it turns into tartar, and if left untreated will start producing toxins that damage the tissue around the teeth. Your pet’s immune system will attempt to fight the issue by releasing cells to combat the tartar. However, in doing so will further damage the area, as the cells don’t discriminate, they will damage the tartar and gums alike. Resulting in severe gum damage, teeth loss and bone loss. If left untreated the infection can spread into the bloodstream and then your pet could be at risk of developing issues in the heart, liver, and kidneys.
Gingivitis is the early stages of periodontal disease and is less severe. It is the process of plaque build-up on your pet’s teeth. This is the best time to fix oral issues before they become a more serious issue. If you notice a build-up, get on top of it, it will save your pet from pain and discomfort as well as save you from some expensive vet bills.
Even with recommendations from their vet to make sure they brush their pet’s teeth, 98% of pet owners will not do so on a daily basis, if at all.