Since pets are not able to care for their teeth properly on their own, they are prone to many dental disorders. Among the most common of these pet health conditions are broken or chipped teeth, tooth crowding, gingivitis, plaque and/or tartar accumulation, and periodontitis. These problems can affect both cats and dogs of any age; however, they occur most often in middle-aged and senior pets.
How Dental Disorders Affects Your Pet
What dental disorders can do to your pet depends on the particular condition that your dog or cat is suffering from. In the case of broken, chipped or overcrowded teeth, there will be varying degrees of pain. If there is a large amount of plaque or tarter accumulation, gingivitis can develop. Left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis. This is a painful and serious condition that can cause gum infections, abscesses, loose teeth and tooth loss. Furthermore, studies have shown that advanced cases of periodontitis are often directly linked to various forms of heart disease.
Common Symptoms of Dental Disorders
The symptoms of dental disorders may differ from one pet to another depending on the problem that an animal may be suffering from. However, there are some common warning signs that are typical to many dental problems, and they are as follows: Cracked, Chipped or Broken Teeth; Teeth That Point in Odd Directions; Loose Teeth/Tooth Loss; Plaque and/or Tarter Buildup; Bad Breath (Halitosis); Bleeding and/or Receding Gums; Pain While Eating or Chewing; Reluctance to Eat; Darkened or Stained Teeth; Inflamed and/or Swollen Gums and Excessive Drooling
Treatments for Dental Disorders
Treatments for dental disorders vary depending on the particular problem and how severe it is. If your pet's problem stems from excess plaque or tarter, your veterinarian or a technician will scrape it away and clean your dog or cat's teeth. Oral antibiotics or antibiotic gel may be necessary if infections are present. Tooth extractions may be required in cases where teeth are severely decayed, crowding other teeth or growing in abnormal directions. Some forms of dental disorders are treated with surgery such as bone augmentations, bone replacement and gingivectomies. In some cases, splints can be used to stabilize loose teeth.
While some dental disorders are caused by such things as accidents or trauma, others are due to breed predispositions. In other words, some breeds of dogs and cats are more prone to various dental disorders because of their short muzzles. When an animal has a small or short muzzle, their teeth tend to be overcrowded. Listed below are some of the breeds that commonly experience dental disorders and conditions that can lead to them. Breeds most vulnerable to dental disorders: Pugs, Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Pekingese, Yorkshire Terriers, Toy Poodles, Maltese, Other Toy Breed Canines, Persians and Himalayans.
When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.