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Periodontal disease is one of the most common veterinarian diagnoses. It is a gum disease that can start to occur when dogs or cats are at least three years old. This clinical condition can form when plaque begins to stick to the surface of the teeth, causing bacteria to form in the mouth. Once the plaque and dental calculus, or tartar begin to spread under the gum line, the bacteria starts damaging the supporting tissue around the teeth. 

Consequently, this can lead to tooth loss, gum tissue damage, or stimulation of the animal’s immune system. To avoid such ailments and life-threatening health problems including gingivitis, periodontitis, or even diabetes, it is vital that pet owners take action in preventing periodontal disease. 

In fact, periodontal disease is entirely preventable. Consistent home oral hygiene for dogs and cats can improve the pet’s chances of avoiding the disease entirely. By implementing several home oral hygiene strategies at a young age, such as these at-home tips below, you can lessen the amount of professional dental pet cleaning. 

  • Brushing: A pet owner should be brushing their pet’s teeth once a day- and start at a very early age so it becomes an everyday routine. Using a pet-safe toothpaste that has plaque-digesting enzymes or antimicrobial action is a great plus. This day-to-day regimen will be key in removing plaque before it becomes tartar. 
  • Chewing: It is important for pet owners to purchase dental chew treats and toys that are going to agree with a specific pet’s ability and desire to chew. Since chewing acts as natural protection to plaque and tartar buildup, visit a pet store to find treats or toys that are suitable. Just be mindful of overzealous chewing on harder materials, as well as kibble, which can induce gum bleeding and dental fractures.

Besides consistently adhering to these home oral hygiene strategies, a pet owner should take their dog or cat in for regular oral exams and cleanings. Professionals can get a very clear and accurate dental X-ray of what is really happening in your pet’s mouth. If it is under general anaesthetic or not, a professional will have a much better chance of detecting any symptoms of the disease.

Ultimately, staying on top of your pet’s dental health when properly done, especially at an early age, can be immensely beneficial, making periodontal disease entirely avoidable! To book your pet for a dental exam, call us ahead at (843) 795-7574 or book an appointment on our website

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