February is National Pet Dental Health Awarness Month


Importance of Oral Care For Overall Health

Poor dental hygiene can lead to gum disease, loss of teeth and, if untreated, could develop into more serious conditions such as bacterial infections of the heart, lungs, liver or kidneys.Skip to accessible navigation

The American Veterinary Dental Society recommends that you:

  • Take your pet to your veterinarian for a dental assessment
  • Begin a dental hygiene program at home that consists of at least
    brushing your pet’s teeth and feeding a diet that is good for your pet’s teeth
  • Schedule regular dental exams for your pet Skip to accessible navigation

By following the 3Ds — Daily Brushing, Dentistry and Diet — you can make a huge impact on your pet’s oral health and overall health for more years of companionship.

Dental Development in Dogs

Birth: puppies are born without teeth
3 weeks: a full set of 28 primary teeth begin to emerge,
and then fall out over time
Between 4 and 6 months: full set of 42 permanent,
adult teeth; take your puppy to the veterinarian for his
first dental checkup

Plaque and Tartar

There are over 300 types of bacteria that naturally live in your pet’s mouth. When your pet eats, small food
particles and saliva combine with these bacteria to form a thin film over the teeth. This is called plaque.

Plaque is invisible to the naked, human eye, and must be dyed to be seen.Brushing is a way to remove plaque. However, plaque reappears after 6 hours. Over time, plaque hardens (due to calcium in your pet’s saliva) to form a hard, yellow-brown deposit on your pet’s teeth. This is called tartar. It cannot be removed by brushing. However, your veterinarian, who is your pet’s dentist, can assist in the removal of the tartar.

Without control, this plaque-to-tartar cycle can cause serious health problems for your pet that can include gingivitis, abscess, periodontitis, tooth loss, bone loss, and bacterial infections of vital organs. Plaque turning into tartar is a vicious, progressive cycle. However, it can be broken by practicing the 3Ds – Daily Brushing, Dentistry and Diet.Skip to accessible navigation

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease develops when you do not break the plaque-to-tartar cycle.
If caught early, it can be corrected. If unnoticed, or untreated, it can lead to serious and life threatening conditions. There are 4 stages of periodontal disease:

Stage 1.
Early Gingivitis
Stage 2.
Advanced Gingivitis

Stage 3.
Early Periodontal
Stage 4.
Advanced Periodontal
Flip your pet’s lip and check out her oral health. It is not too late to begin the journey for good oral health. If your pet shows any of these signs, contact your Veterinarian. Describe which of these you have observed and follow your Veterinarian’s advice. Remember, your Veterinarian is your pet’s dentist.Skip to accessible navigation
Possible Signs of Periodontal Disease
  • Persistent Bad Breath
  • Tartar (hard, yellow-brown deposits)
  • Red Gums
  • Bleeding Gums
  • Discolored Teeth
  • Loose or Missing Teeth
  • Difficulty Eating or Chewing
  • Excessive Drooling
  • Pawing at the Mouth
  • Favoring One Side of the Mouth
  • Facial Swelling
  • Irritability
  • Reluctance to Chew Toys
  • Depression
Healthy Teeth For Pets

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