February is National Pet Dental Health Month!
Oral care is often overlooked in our furry companions. For this reason, the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) and other veterinary groups are sponsoring National Pet Dental Health Month.
Periodontal disease in pets, just like in humans, is an infection caused by an accumulation of plaque and tartar on the teeth. The accumulated tartar is irritating to the gums, sometimes causing bleeding and pain. In the worst cases, the roots of the teeth also become infected, causing the teeth to become loose or require extraction.
As tartar hardens, it becomes impossible to remove without a full dental cleaning. Brushing your pet’s teeth will help to prevent more tartar from accumulating, but does nothing to remove tartar that is already on the teeth. Pets need to be anesthetized completely for their safety and to provide adequate pain relief.
Common signs of periodontal disease:
· Halitosis, or bad breath
· Red and inflamed gums
· Tartar accumulation on the teeth.
For more information on periodontal disease and how to prevent it, please visit the AVMA’s website.