Dental disease is one of the most commonly diagnosed diseases in veterinary medicine. It is estimated that 80% of dogs and 50% of cats over the age of 3 have active dental disease, and the majority of that disease actually hides below the gumline. Because our pets cannot tell us what’s going on, dental disease often goes undiagnosed until it is quite severe. This is another reason why your annual wellness visit is an important time to have your teeth evaluated. Severe dental disease can cause changes in appetite, heart disease, loss of teeth, etc.
To help prevent dental disease in your pet, we recommend regular dental care at home and prophylactic dental cleanings. The best at-home care is regular brushing. There are many kinds of toothpaste and brush types formulated specifically for your pets to make the process more appealing. Many dogs actually learn to love having their teeth brushed!
For other types of dental products, the Veterinary Oral Health Council has tested and placed their seal of approval on all products that have proven to help reduce or remove plaque on your pet’s teeth. You can visit their website to learn more at www.VOHC.org.
Dental cleanings are still the best way to remove built-up plaque and clean underneath the gumline. For small breed dogs, dental cleanings are often recommended much more frequently than for large breed dogs, as small dogs far more often acquire severe dental disease. Because of the wide variation of dental disease, consultations are required prior to scheduling a dental cleaning. Please contact us today at (865) 577-2866 to schedule your consultation!
*FUN FACT: Did you know that dogs have 42 teeth and cats have 30 teeth?!