Detecting Dental Disease in Pets: A Quick Guide

Dental diseases in pets are pretty common, and they can result in a lot of pain and discomfort for your furry friend. Unfortunately, many pet owners are not aware of the signs and symptoms of dental disease. As a result, their pets may suffer needlessly and not bring them to a veterinary dentist.

Several types of dental diseases can affect pets, but periodontal disease is the most common. Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection of the gums and tissues surrounding teeth. If left untreated, this can lead to tooth loss and other serious health problems.

Read on to learn more.

What Are the Signs That My Pet May Have Dental Problems?

Below are the most common signs that your pet may have dental problems:

  • Bad breath. While this may not be the most pleasant thing to talk about, your pet’s breath can give you some insight into their overall health, including their dental health. If your pet has persistent bad breath, it could be a sign of plaque and tartar buildup on their teeth or gums.
  • Changes in eating habits. If your pet is having trouble eating or seems to be losing interest in their food, it could be due to a dental problem. They may drop food more often than usual or seem to be chewing on one side of their mouth. In some cases, these could be emergency services that require immediate treatment.
  • Excessive drooling. Pets with dental problems may drool more than normal because their mouth is in pain.
  • Bleeding gums. Gums that bleed easily or are red and inflamed could signify gingivitis, a form of gum disease.
  • Yellow or brown buildup on teeth. Plaque and tartar can cause your pet’s teeth to take on a yellow or brown tint.
  • Loose or missing teeth. Teeth that are loose or missing entirely could be a sign of periodontal disease, which is a serious form of gum disease.
  • Excessive pawing at the mouth. If your pet is drooling more than normal, it may be due to increased tartar and bacteria in their mouth, which can lead to gum disease. They may also paw at their mouth if they’re experiencing pain.

What Should I Do If I Suspect My Pet Has Dental Problems?

Here are some things you can do if you think your pet has dental problems:

  • Take them to the vet. This is the best way to determine if your pet has dental problems and, if so, what kind of treatment they may need.
  • Start brushing their teeth. If your pet hasn’t already brushed their teeth regularly, now is a good time to start. This will help remove plaque and tartar buildup and keep their teeth healthy.
  • Feed them dental-friendly foods. Some pet foods on the market are specifically designed to help reduce plaque and tartar buildup. These may be a good option for your pet if they struggle with dental problems.
  • Give them dental chews. Dental chews are a great way to help remove plaque and tartar from your pet’s teeth. Be sure to choose a product specifically designed for pets and supervise your pet while chewing to avoid choking hazards.
  • Feed them softer food. If your pet has trouble eating, you can try feeding them softer food. This will help them get the nutrition they need while also protecting their teeth from further damage.
  • Keep an eye on your pet’s mouth. Take a look at their teeth and gums regularly, and be sure to report any changes to your veterinarian. If you are a pet owner who always travels and leaves your pet at a boarding facility, you can request that the staff keep an extra close eye on your pet’s mouth and report any changes to you. See this animal boarding near me to learn more about how it works.

The Bottom Line

Dental problems are relatively common in pets but can be easily prevented with regular brushing and dental chews. If your pet may have dental problems, take them to the vet for an evaluation. And be sure to keep an eye on their mouth so you can catch any problems early.


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