Dental Problems Hurt!

Posted In: Feline Health & Wellness, Canine Health & Wellness

Imagine having a toothache that goes untreated for weeks, months, even years. You would be miserable, right?  

It is estimated that 70% of cats and 80% of dogs have oral disease by the time they are three years old. Pets suffering from dental pain may not show signs of hurting. Most will still eat their food and carry on like normal, even if they have gum disease or a cracked tooth. But the pain still exists, and the issues only get worse.

There are some pets that may show signs of pain, such as slow chewing, chewing food on one side, or swallowing food without chewing it first. As the dental problems progress, you may start to notice other signs of pain associated with dental problems. Signs could include red gums, loose teeth, bad breath, blood on a toy or rawhide, and head sensitivity.

What is a pet parent to do?
The good news is that by removing the problematic tooth (or teeth), the pain will be eliminated, and the pet’s quality of life will be greatly improved.

If your pet is over three years old, talk to your veterinarian about a dental cleaning. At AMCMA, we preform dental procedures while the pet is under anesthesia. This allows us to take x-rays, clean below the gumline, look closely for loose or broken teeth, and remove any plaque build-up.

At home, brush your pet’s teeth regularly with a toothbrush and toothpaste designed for pets. Brushing can improve your pet’s dental health, but you should still plan on a dental examination in your veterinarian’s office at least once a year.

To learn more about what you can do to provide better dental care for your pet at home, check out our blog post Dental Health at Home.

The Animal Medical Center of Mid-America has veterinarians at two locations that can answer questions about your pet’s health. Call 314-951-1534 or click here to request an appointment online.