February is National Pet Dental Health Month and I can't stress enough how important it is to ensure that your furry kid has a healthy mouth. Many people do not realize that pets are susceptible to the same dental problems that we humans are, with the exception of cavities, which are pretty rare in pets. But they can get periodontal disease which can be very serious if left untreated. Periodontal disease is inflammation of the gums that is caused by a build up of plaque and tartar which becomes hardened on the pet's teeth. Besides causing bad breath, it can be very painful and lead to abscesses, tooth loss and in the worst case scenario, systemic illnesses like heart disease etc.
It is important to realize that the mouth is the window to the rest of the body and what goes on in the mouth can easily be transmitted through the bodies blood system.
Be sure to get your pet's teeth and gums checked by your veterinarian regularly and if necessary, get them professionally cleaned. To keep their mouth's healthy, brushing their teeth daily or at least a few times a week is a great idea. If brushing is not an option, there are oral products such as sprays you can use on their teeth and gums and additives to their drinking water to reduce the bacteria in their mouth that causes disease and inflammation.
If your dog or cat has a bad breath problem, paws at their mouth, or has trouble eating, they may have a tooth problem. They can't tell you they have a toothache so be sure to get their oral health checked as soon as possible. Remember, they are counting on you to keep them healthy and happy.