February is National Pet Dental Health Month. In this Love Your Pet, Cristina Miliaresis, veterinarian and owner of Surf Paws Animal Hospital talks about how to keep your pet’s teeth clean.
Periodontal or gum disease is the most prevalent disease in dogs and cats. Seven out of ten have tartar, and may have soreness, loose teeth, bone infections, and are in real pain, she says.
“If your pet will let you look in its mouth, look for redness of the gums and a yellow film around the base of the teeth. Drooling or dropping food, bad breath, or rubbing their face can be an indication, too. When in doubt, seek your veterinarian’s advice,” Dr. Miliaresis advises.
If your pet needs a dental cleaning, your veterinarian will safely anesthetize them to remove all the plaque and tartar on the teeth and below the gum line. This will help prevent long term problems as well as prevent bacteria from the mouth getting into the bloodstream, which can cause problems in the heart, kidneys, liver. After a thorough cleaning, Dr. Miliaresis suggests it will really help to brush daily.