How is dentistry for pets different than humans?

Dental care for your pets is just as important for their health as taking them in for a checkup and their vaccinations. The health of your pet’s teeth can greatly improve their lives and increase their life spans. While there are some differences between pet teeth care and human teeth care, there are actually more similarities.

cat playing with human toothbrushDifferences Between Human And Pet Dentistry

One of the largest differences between pet and human teeth is that your pets will not get cavities. Cavities are caused by bacteria build up that feeds off of carbohydrates (sugars) that you consume, leading to decay. Pets do not have this same type of bacteria in their mouths and generally do not consume foods high in sugar content.

Pets do, however, have different bacteria in their mouths that can grow and lead to internal organ damage if they are allowed to multiply and are consumed. Dogs especially, can acquire several diseases due to mouth bacteria which shorten their lives.

Check Up Schedule Human vs Pet

Other people can ensure that they are fighting gum and tooth disease, have cancer screenings conducted, and have their teeth professionally cleaned. Good oral health is essential for good overall body health.

Your pet should have their teeth examined at least once a year. During their annual checkup, your pets’ teeth should be examined and cleaned if necessary. However, if you notice any problems with your pet prior to their scheduled appointment, you should bring them into the vet right away.

Signs Your Pet May Have Problems With Their Teeth

The leading sign of dental problems is very stinky breath. Dog who has bad breath has an excessive amount of bacteria build up and it is dangerous to their health. Another sign is a pet that has excessive drool when it is not common with their breed. Other things to look for is your pet not eating well, refusing to eat, or crying if you touch them near their mouths.

Dental Work On Pets

dog teeth being brushedIn most cases, when your dog or cat has their teeth cleaned at the veterinarian’s office, the doctor will sedate them during the process. Pets can be very squeamish when having their teeth cleaned, and the veterinarian will prefer to have them sedated so they are not hurt during the process.

Cleaning and examine equipment that is used on your pet is the exact same equipment that is used on people. In fact, the procedure is often performed by a dental hygienist that has taken an additional certification test to work on animals as well as people.

There are special bones available on the market for dogs that are meant to help keep their teeth clean and their breath fresh. While most vets will say that these bones are harmless and may even help keep their teeth and breath clean, they are not a replacement for having an annual dental exam.

Pet owners will ensure a happy and healthy pet when they make the effort to take care of their pet’s teeth.

February is National Pet Dental Health Month, so start spreading the word!

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About the Author

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Dr. Joan Landron

Currently serving the community at Absolute Dental since August 2008, Dr. Joan Landron graduated from Temple University School of Dentistry in 1997.

She further honed her skills with a general practice residency at Metropolitan Hospital and underwent specialized training at New York University’s Implant Program for General Practitioners. Specializing in services such as X-rays, examinations, cleanings, crowns, and more, Dr. Landron brings a comprehensive approach to general and cosmetic dentistry, including implants.

A proud member of the American Dental Association, Nevada Dental Association, and Southern Nevada Dental Association, she cherishes her free time by spending moments with family, reading, and maintaining her health through exercise. Dr. Landron takes immense pride in being a part of the Absolute Dental team and is dedicated to her patients at the Absolute Dental – Nellis in Las Vegas, ensuring they receive the best care possible.

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