As you may well know February is National Pet Dental Health Month. This is when many veterinary clinics will offer teeth cleaning specials. High Desert Veterinary doesn’t offer discounts during February for teeth cleaning because we keep our prices low all year long for this procedure. That’s how important we think it is!
Keeping up on your pet's dental health is vital to his/her overall longevity. Take your pet to your veterinarian at least once a year for an oral exam. If your dog or cat's gums are red along the tooth line that is their oral immune system reacting to the plaque buildup on the teeth. If you see this a dental cleaning is needed. This is Ginigivitis, and if left unchecked, can cause further damage.
Dental problems usually start with plaque that hardens into tartar. Tartar above the gumline can often easily be seen and removed, but plaque and tartar below the gumline is damaging and sets the stage for infection and damage to the jawbone and the tissues that connect the tooth to the jaw bone. Periodontal disease is graded on a scale of 0 (normal) to 4 (severe).
Dr. Larry Glickman at Purdue University conducted a study that points to a strong correlation between gum disease and endocarditis, an inflammation (infection) of the heart’s valves or inner lining.
Dr. Glickman's findings point to another way gum disease may lead to heart problems that involves certain strains of oral bacteria. Some types of bacteria found in your dog’s mouth produce sticky proteins which can adhere to the walls of his/her arteries.
As this bacteria builds up, it thickens the walls of the arteries. This narrowing of the passageway through the arteries is closely associated with heart disease.
Stay on top of your pet's oral health and you will extend their quality of life.