Dogs and cats obviously can’t brush their own teeth, so it’s up to their owners to maintain their oral health for them. Did you know that over time, the tartar that accumulates on your pet’s teeth can eventually lead to gum disease? In fact, more than 60% of all dogs and cats show signs of gum disease when they’re just 3 years of age. Left untreated, this disease can leave a pet in a great deal of pain or even worse. Animal Hospital of Colorado Springs wants to be proactive about dental health to help lower the number of pets that are affected by gum disease every year. We offer comprehensive dental services to help prevent dental disease, so your four-legged friend can be around to keep you company for as long as possible.
What Exactly Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease in pets is very similar to that in humans, both in how it starts and how it progresses. In pets, it includes four stages of progression, which are detailed below:
Stage 1 Gingivitis: At this stage, there is light plaque accumulation on the teeth and minor gum inflammation. These conditions are reversible with professional dental treatment at Animal Hospital of Colorado Springs.
Stage 2 Early Periodontitis: This is when a pet is likely to start feeling pain, due to the inflammation of the entire gum area. Another common symptom at this stage is bad breath. Luckily, professional dental treatment and at-home dental care can still reverse these effects.
Stage 3 Moderate Periodontitis: This is the first phase of gum disease. When early periodontitis is allowed to progress to this stage, the bacterial infection and tartar start to destroy the gums, resulting in bone loss, sore mouth, and persistent bad breath. Typically, the mouth soreness affects a pet’s eating habits. Stage 3 may or may not be reversible.
Stage 4 Advanced Periodontitis: At this stage, the infection continues to break down the gum and bone tissue as well as the tooth itself. This is the most severe case because the bacterial infection can now enter the blood stream, potentially leading to liver, heart, and kidney disease.
How to Prevent Pet Gum Disease
Remember, we at Animal Hospital of Colorado Springs are pet owners, too, so we want your pet to be disease-free, just as much as you do. One of the easiest ways to prevent gum disease is by bringing your pet in at least once a year for a wellness exam. During these exams, we examine your pet’s mouth to look for any signs of gum disease, such as those mentioned above. If we think a dental cleaning is necessary, we schedule a separate appointment so we can perform a full cleaning and dental exam under general anesthesia. We can also give you our recommendations for at-home dental care, including tooth brushing techniques. Our pet dental services are both safe and effective, and they can help eliminate the risk of gum disease, so schedule an appointment today by calling 719-579-9488.