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Dental Month Is Over, Now What?
Posted on the 4th of March, 2014 at 8:00 AM
Most of you know that February has traditionally been called "Dental Month." This year, however, we chose to call it "Dental Awareness Month." Why? Because your pet uses their teeth all year-round and oral health doesn't end at the end of February.
Since Fall last year we have been encouraging pet parents to get their pet's teeth cleaned promptly to prevent infections and pain. As an incentative, we have been providing a 20% discount on dental procedures scheduled within 2 weeks of our recommendation. This discount can provide substantial savings for you, but more importantly it will help you provide better care for your pet's teeth when they need it most - right away.
Dental disease is often overlooked as problem because pets tend to keep eating despite the oral infection and pain. There are many times when I look in a dog's mouth and see more tartar on one side then the other, or touch the gum tissue around a cat's tooth eliciting a painful reaction. In both of these cases no problems are usually seen at home; but in both cases pain is present, evident, and very real.
Cats are notorious for masking pain. Just in the past several weeks I have seen many cats with cavities on their teeth. This process, called tooth resorption, is a painful condition and is relatively common in our feline friends.
To give you an idea what happens to these teeth I have two x-rays to show you:
I think it is pretty clear that there is a problem with the teeth on the right. These teeth are slowly being eaten away by normal bone cells (osteoclasts) in the jaw. The exact cause of tooth resoprtion is currently unknown, but once it is detected we can help address the pain and inflammation with treatment.
Even to the trained eye, dental disease can be hard to spot which is why we recommend dental x-rays for every patient undergoing a dental cleaning. The x-ray on the left is a perfect example of the need for x-rays; over 50% of each tooth is BELOW the gumline!
Tooth resorption is just one type of dental disease we see in pets. Periodontal disease, retained baby teeth, unerupted teeth, stomatitis, and gingival growths are just a few other problems we can see in your pet's mouth.
February is over, now what?
Besides coming in for your pet's annual or semi-annual examinations, providing regular dental care at home is extremely important. Tooth brushing, oral rinses, dental diets, and dental chews are several great ways to help preserve your pet's oral health.
Please contact us if you would like to learn more about how to keep your pet's teeth healthy and pain-free at 651-739-0117 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by: John Clappier, DVM
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Woodbury, MN 55125
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