TIME FOR PET'S DENTAL! (STAGE IV)
Our records indicate that your pet has Stage 4/4 periodontal disease, and is in need of a dental cleaning. By 3 years of age, 85% of our pets have periodontal disease, so your pet is in good company!
What does "Stage 4/4 periodontal disease" mean? Periodontal disease in dogs and cats is assessed by what level of advancement, or stage, it is in. Stage 4 means your pet has pronounced infection, advanced damage, and severe pain in his mouth. Stage 4 has pronounced gingivitis, or gum infection, involving all of the teeth, and heavy caps of tartar, or dental calculus, bridging the teeth and covering the visible tooth surfaces. In addition, most pets with Stage 4/4 periodontal disease will have already lost multiple teeth, and have mobile, or loose teeth, that need removal. The damage caused by Stage 4/4 periodontal disease is irreversible, but a thorough dental cleaning, extraction of nonviable and/or loose teeth, and an organized dental management plan, can prevent further damage and pain.
How do you tell if your pet has periodontal disease? It's easy--does your pet have bad breath? If you flip your pet's lip up and look at his teeth, can you see unsightly tartar? inflamed/bleeding gums? Does your pet resist his muzzle being handles, due to pain? Is your pet no longer playing with his toys?
There are a variety of reasons so many of our dogs and cats are affected with periodontal disease.
The primary risk factors for periodontal disease in dogs are Small Mouth/Crowded Mouth/Hairy Mouth. In other words, a small dog (like a Yorkie), a dog with a snub nose (and, therefore, crowded/crooked teeth), or a dog with lots of facial hair (think Schnauzer) have a lot more problems with periodontal disease than, say, a Labrador.
The risk factors for cats for periodontal disease include specific breeds (especially Abyssinians), snub nose (Himalayan or Persian) and cats in multi-cat households (due to chronic viral infections).
Think of how uncomfortable you are if you eat popcorn and have a popcorn hull lodged in your gums. Now, magnify that oral pain tenfold, and imagine living with it daily--that's what pets endure that have periodontal disease.
Elderly pets whose mouths have been neglected have the additional agony of bone infection (osteomyelitis) to deal with.
To make matters worse, the bacteria that cause gingivitis in pets have a particular affinity for the heart, liver and kidneys; the rich blood supply of the gums means every time a pet with periodontal disease eats, drinks, chews, licks,or grooms, he is causing a cascade of bacteria to enter his bloodstream and target those vital organs.
The only health problems that age a pet as fast as periodontal disease are osteoarthritis and cancer.
Good dental care is one of the most loving and beneficial things we can do for our pets! Proper dental health care can:
· Add 3-5 happy years to a dog or cat's lifespan
· Prevent heart, liver and kidney disease
· Prevent oral pain and BAD BREATH
The good news is that good dental health care doesn't have to be expensive! Windmill Animal Hospital offers complete dental services for your pet, including dental cleaning/polishing, dental xrays, extractions, and restorative procedures. However, if your pet's teeth are cleaned on a regular basis, those other services likely won't be needed!
Call today to get your pet's dental cleaning scheduled, and see how easily we can help your pet be healthier and more comfortable with an organized dental maintenance plan