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Posted on 02-17-2015

This is helpful information from Rainbow Vet. Hosp. on why Pets need their teeth cleaned too.  Take the test and see how you do......

1.  Does tarter cause periodontal disease?               NO

        Plaque is bacteria and byproducts that build up on your teeth continually.  Tarter(mineralized dead bacteria) forms from the plaque.  Periodontal disease(inflammation of the margins of the gum)forms on the margins of the gum but tarter, at the same time, is forming on the teeth.  They are both causes by plaque.

2.  Does more tarter in your pet's mouth mean more disease?               NO

       Periodontal disease is really the problem.  Tarter is merely an indicator and plaque builds up daily.

3.  Are antibiotics the way to treat periodontal disease?                      NO

        Brushing daily is the only way to treat it!

4.  Can periodontal disease show up in younger dogs?                      YES

        It can show up very early especially in dogs under 15 pounds.  Dogs live long lives and we need to make their quality of life the best we can.  Pets eat more soft foods which can help bring on tooth problems also.

5.  Does bacteria cause bone loss?                                               NO

       It's the body's response to the inflammation caused by bacteria that causes the bone loss.

6.  Do animals with gingivitis(the lightest form of gum infection) always have red gums?          NO

        Advanced cases do but light cases just bleed when you poke them. ( You probably have had your own dentist poke your gums.  I know that I have had that done to me.)

7.  Are periodontal infections only in the mouth?                             NO

        If an animal exhibits bad breath, it can mean that they have already experienced bone loss in the jaw.  There may be only 1/32" of bone between a dog's teeth and it's nasal cavity.  You can have fistulas(holes between the mouth and nasal cavity), tumors from chronic inflammation and other infections in other organs(ie. kidney, liver, heart and eyes)

8.  Can you find dental disease in you pet by yourself?                    YES

       You can look in your pet's mouth yourself and see if they have lots of tarter.

9.  Is good dental care only to keep teeth clean and control gum disease?                              NO

        Studies show that tooth infections can effect other organs like in question 7.  Also diabetic animals should certainly have their teeth cleaned regularly as tooth infections can effect diabetes treatment.

10.  Is probing in the mouth and sometimes Xrays under general anesthesia necessary?        YES

         It is the only real way to find pockets of infection or bone loss that has already occurred.  In order to clean up pockets, you may need to cut back the gums.+

Look at the dirty teeth below and see if your pet needs a dental.......


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