Dental Disease: What to Watch For

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At Total Veterinary Care®, we believe you are your pet’s best oral health advocate! Problems with your furry friend’s mouth and teeth often lead to a variety of other problems. One 2018 study found that almost 90% of all canine patients had some degree of periodontal (mouth- or teeth-related) disease. Another study in 2018 found that 100% of canine subjects showed evidence of periodontal disease. In cats, periodontal disease is detected in nearly 70% of patients by the age of two years old. Based on studies such as these, dental disease should be a primary concern of pet owners.

Why is a dental exam so important?

Periodontal disease is not just about bad breath or ugly teeth. Your pet can experience pain, infection, and other issues as a result. Animals with dental and oral health problems experience tooth fractures, mouth sores, eye problems, bone problems, oral cancer, and other problems in their body’s systems such as arthritis, anemia, and kidney and heart issues.

Prevention and interventions are keys to good dental health. Both pet owners and veterinarians can provide dental care in support of a healthy life. By watching for signs and symptoms of periodontal disease, you can provide important information to your veterinarian to help your pet achieve the best health possible.

What should I look for?

Warning signs of oral and dental disease include:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Bad breath
  • Teeth that have discoloration, plaque build-up
  • Teeth that seem out of place, misshaped, or broken
  • Unwillingness to eat or open mouth
  • Reluctance to chew, difficulty chewing, chewing only on one side, or dropping food while chewing
  • Mouth swelling (or swelling around the mouth)
  • Drooling, bleeding
  • Eye swelling or discharge
  • Pain when touched
  • Pawing at the face

If you see any of these warning signs, notify your veterinarian promptly so he/she can address the issue early.

Dental Health Month: We’ve Got You Covered!

Total Veterinary Care’s “Enhanced” and “Ultimate” Wellness Plans cover the cost of an
annual dental prophylactic procedure. This involves anesthetizing your pet and doing a thorough
exam of all of the teeth and periodontal tissues. It also entails using an ultrasonic scaler to
remove the hardened dental tartar from all of the teeth. At the end of the procedure, the enamel
of the teeth is polished to slow the buildup of plaque and tartar in the future.

What if your pet is not on one of the Total Care Wellness Plans® that includes the dental
prophylactic procedure? No problem! Any dental cleaning scheduled during February’s
National Pet Dental Health Month will receive $50 off the procedure, if it’s not already covered
by a Wellness Plan.

To help keep your pet healthy, happy, and pain-free, schedule your pet’s oral health check-up
today at Total Veterinary Care! For added protection in addition to the cleaning, this is also a
great time to take dental x-rays and to look for any broken or loose teeth that need to be dealt
with. Be sure to ask your friendly team at Total Veterinary Care about National Pet Dental
Health Month and how to get your pet signed up for a Total Care Wellness Plan.

And ALL patients receiving dental procedures during February’s National Pet Dental Health
Month will go home with a free goodie bag…just like pet parents get from their dentist!



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