Through advances in animal health, pets can live a lot longer these days but only if they have healthy teeth and gums. Unfortunately, it’s our experience that for many pets this is not the case.
The problem is that UNHEALTHY teeth and gums are prone to infection that can spread from periodontal (gum) disease to the rest of their body…and if that happens, it can be an expensive and painful problem! Did you know that…
Disturbingly, by the time they’re just two years old, 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show some sign of gum disease! Even worse, 10% of pets have a broken tooth with pulp (nerve or root canal) exposure which is extremely painful until the nerve dies and the tooth becomes infected!
Infectious oral diseases affecting the gums and root canals create bacteria in the bloodstream, which can infect other parts of the body. In fact, periodontal inflammation and infection have been linked to numerous problems including heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease, emphysema, liver disease, osteoporosis, pregnancy problems, and diabetes. This has led oral infectious diseases to become known in veterinary circles as “the silent killer.”
Equally, as heartbreaking is the news that oral disease can also cause inflammation to the eye, resulting in blindness. Jaw bone loss from chronic infection can lead to a jaw fracture which can be very hard to heal. If that wasn’t enough, infectious oral disease can result in bone infections, nasal infections and an increased risk of oral cancer!
Just as with us Humans, a good dental care regime can prevent gum disease so it is important to get your pet checked. Pets should have their teeth examined at least annually but think about this…one year in your life is like five to seven years for pets. A lot of changes can happen in one year. Remember humans get their teeth checked once every six months, and brush their teeth twice per day, yet pets use their mouths much more than you do!
CMAC TV is a video series created by our Veterinary team and is made to promote greater knowledge about God's creatures!