February is National Pet Dental Health Month, and the importance of maintaining your pet’s dental health can’t be overlooked. It’s more than just a cosmetic issue…when your dog or cat has red gums, yellow teeth, and smelly breath, it could be a sign of serious oral disease that could, if left untreated, lead to negative affects on your pet’s quality of life.
Think about how your mouth would be if you went months between brushing your teeth. Pretty unpleasant, right? Well, the same occurs in your pet! If your pet will tolerate you brushing their teeth, that’s really the best way to manage their oral health at home. If daily brushing isn’t an option, there are dental diets that you can give your pet that work like a toothbrush and floss all in one! A daily brushing routine or dental diet (or both), along with a periodic cleaning by your veterinarian can help keep your pet’s teeth tartar-free.
The tartar buildup, much like humans, is what creates the majority of problems with oral health. It often starts as brown accumulations, usually near the gum line. It generally causes bad breath and, if allowed to continue to build up, eventually causes dental disease such as gum recession, bone loss, loose teeth, and infections.
Keeping on top of your pet’s dental health has lasting, positive effects. Furthermore, some studies even suggest that maintaining your pet’s oral health can add up to five years to your pet’s life…and who wouldn’t want that?