7 Signs Your Pet Has A Dental Problem
As pet parents, we cherish our furry companions and strive to ensure their well-being. Yet, overlooking their dental health is a common oversight. Oral hygiene plays a crucial role in your pet's overall health. Recognising signs of potential dental problems early can prevent discomfort and maintain their quality of life. Here are seven signs to watch for:
1. Bad Breath
While no pet's breath smells like roses, excessively foul breath might indicate dental issues. Unpleasant odours often stem from bacterial buildup in the mouth. Persistent bad breath warrants a closer look at your pet's oral health.
2. Changes in Eating Habits
If your pet shows reluctance or difficulty while eating—such as chewing on one side of the mouth or dropping food—this might signal dental discomfort. Avoiding hard food or favouring softer options could indicate pain while chewing.
3. Visible Tartar or Discolouration
Inspect your pet's teeth regularly. Visible tartar buildup, yellow or brown discoloration on the teeth, or swollen gums could signify dental problems. Such signs might indicate the presence of plaque and tartar, leading to more severe issues if left unaddressed.
4. Excessive Drooling
While drooling is normal for some breeds, excessive drooling beyond their usual behaviour might hint at dental concerns. Pain or irritation in the mouth can cause increased saliva production.
5. Behavioural Changes
Keep an eye out for behavioural alterations. Agitation, irritability, or a decrease in playful behaviour might indicate underlying dental discomfort. Pets may become more withdrawn or show signs of discomfort when their teeth hurt.
6. Visible Swelling or Bleeding Gums
Inspect your pet's gums for any signs of inflammation, swelling, or bleeding. Healthy gums should appear pink, and any deviation from this could signal gum disease or other dental issues.
7. Pawing at the Mouth or Face
Pets might paw at their mouth or face when experiencing dental pain. Constantly rubbing or pawing at the mouth area could indicate discomfort in their teeth or gums.
What Can You Do?
Spotting these signs prompts action to ensure your pet receives the necessary care:
1. Regular Dental Check-ups: Schedule routine dental check-ups with your veterinarian. Professional examinations and cleanings can prevent and address dental issues.
2. Dental Care at Home: Initiate a dental care routine at home. Brush your pet's teeth regularly using pet-specific toothpaste and a soft brush. Introduce this gradually to familiarise your pet with the process. You can even start just with a flannel smeared with toothpaste instead of a brush. Your Veterinary nursing team will be happy to demonstrate to you how to brush your pet's teeth.
3. Monitor Diet: Provide a balanced diet to support oral health. Certain diets or dental treats are designed to reduce plaque and tartar buildup. Not all of these products are created equal however- you should look for the VOHC seal of approval for products that have been tested and found effective.
4. Act Promptly: If you notice any of these signs, consult your veterinarian promptly. Early detection and treatment are crucial in addressing dental problems effectively.
Your pet's dental health is integral to their overall well-being. Recognising and addressing potential dental issues early can prevent discomfort and more severe health complications.
Stay vigilant, observe any changes in behaviour or appearance, and prioritise your pet's oral health. Regular dental care, both at home and with professional veterinary assistance, ensures a happier, healthier life for your beloved furry companion.
Remember, your veterinarian is your best ally in maintaining your pet's dental wellness. Act swiftly to address any concerns and ensure your pet's sparkling smile lasts a lifetime.