Open Wide: Pet Dental Care

iStock_000010547292_MediumOne of the most important factors determining your pet’s quality and quantity of life is dental health. Unfortunately, dental care is one of the most overlooked areas of pet care. According to the American Veterinary Dental Association, up to 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of dental disease by the age of three.

Just like us, when saliva and food combine with bacteria on your pet’s teeth, a substance called plaque forms. Eventually this becomes mineralized, forming tartar. Tartar accumulation can lead to inflammation in the gingival tissues and eventually destroy the tissues that support the tooth, leading to periodontal disease.

If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to oral pain and the loss of teeth. Even more importantly, however, the presence of bacteria in continued dental disease can lead to the invasion of infection into the bloodstream. Bacteria in the bloodstream can cause damage to major organs including the kidneys, liver, and heart. Continue…