Happy Dental Month!

February has been one of my favourite months of the year since I graduated from vet school.  No, it isn’t that I dig winter sports or just really like Valentine’s Day.  February is DENTAL MONTH!   I just like teeth…yeah I know it’s weird.

I can’t help but feel really satisfied when I start with a tartar filled bad smelling mouth and end up with a shining row of pearly whites.  Dental health is about way more than aesthetics. It is about total body health. If you ask any human dentist they will tell you that in order for the body to be healthy, the mouth has to be healthy. Bacteria from the mouth don’t just stay there politely. Those nasty critters get into the blood stream and damage organs. They cause damage to kidneys, they stick to heart valves and cause heart disease and can damage the liver as well.

Dental disease can also be a significant source of pain for pets. Just because they are still eating doesn’t mean that they are not in pain. Have you ever had a tooth ache? It’s the same for them. They will often try to eat on one side, begin dropping food or develop a preference for canned or moistened food all of a sudden.

Painful mouths that need extractions are treatable as long as the pet is otherwise healthy. However, my mission as a vet is to get those mouths clean before they hurt, before they need teeth removed. If we can get them clean right under the gum line then we can treat gingivitis and keep those teeth and the rest of the body healthy.

So how do you know that your pet needs a cleaning? We will look at your pet’s mouth during their annual exam and let you know. If they are just starting to get tartar or have no apparent dental issues we will discuss at home care with you. If the teeth need cleaning then we will prepare an estimate for a dental cleaning for you. If you are between visits here are some signs to look for:

  1. Bad breath
  2. Teeth look brown or grayish- that is tartar build up
  3. Gums above teeth look red or puffy compared to elsewhere in the mouth

 

If you are worried give us a call. We will perform an oral exam and give you some advice. In honour of dental month we are offering special pricing on our preventative dental cleanings for the months of February and March.  Smile its DENTAL MONTH!

Dr Elizabeth Layton

About the Author

Dr Elizabeth LaytonView all posts by Dr Elizabeth Layton
Dr Layton graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 2005 and began work in mixed animal practice. Dr. Layton’s special interest is dentistry but she enjoys a variety of internal medicine and surgical cases.

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