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Dental Health


Dog Dental Facts:

Puppies have 28 temporary teeth that emerge when they are about three to four weeks old. They will have 42 permanent teeth which begin to show at about four months. Gum disease in dogs is very common and should be addressed immediately. Signs of gum disease include: yellow and brown build-up of tartar along the gum line, inflamed gums and persistent bad breath. Broken teeth are a common problem among K9's, especially outdoor dogs. Veterinary dental experts have determined that aggressively chewing on hard objects is a primary cause of broken teeth in dogs.


Cat Dental Facts:

Kittens will have 26 temporary teeth that begin to emerge when they are about two to three weeks old. They will have 30 permanent teeth which will begin to show at about three to four months. Periodontal disease in cats can be eliminated with regular dental care. Periodontal disease symptoms include: yellow and brown tartar buildup along the gum line, red inflamed gums, and persistent bad breath. Resorptive lesions (FORLs) are a common tooth disease in domestic cats. Approximately 28 percent of domestic cats develop at least one of these painful lesions during their lifetime.


Is dental disease really a big issue?

Dental disease is a major issue with all cats and dogs. Gum disease is the most diagnosed problem in dogs and cats.

Traditionally, by the age of two years old, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have developed some type of gum disease. Also, research shows that 10% of dogs will have a broken or chipped tooth, with nerve or root exposure. This is very painful for the animal until the nerve dies, and then the tooth will become infected. Oral diseases that affect the gums and root canals create bacteria in the blood stream, which can infect other areas of the body. Gum inflammation and infection are linked to many problems: including heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease, emphysema, liver disease, osteoporosis, pregnancy problems and diabetes.

Oral disease can also cause an inflammation to the pet’s eye, possibly resulting in blindness, if left untreated. Bone loss from chronic infection may lead to a jaw fracture. Infectious oral disease can result in an area of dead, infected bone, nasal infections and increase the risk of oral cancer. The oral cavity is a common place for cancer, and if left untreated they may be too advanced for therapy. Proactive, early treatment is the easiest and most effective cure. As the pet owner, you should check your pet regularly for oral growths and abnormalities. Contact Brawley Animal Hospital if anything unusual is found.

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Other oral problems include bacterial cavities, painful orthodontic problems, dead teeth, and worn teeth. Almost every pet has some form of painful or infectious oral disease that needs treatment. The proactive approach to dental care is by far the best method to care for your pet.


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