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Healthy Teeth, Happy Pet

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Healthy Teeth, Happy Pet

Oral care is a growing trend among pet guardians and for good reason. A healthy mouth is vital to a healthy body. “Dental care is one of the simplest things you can do to help maintain a dog or cat’s long-term health,” says Dr. David Smith, a veterinarian with Leader Dogs for the Blind in Rochester, Michigan. In fact, oral disease is the most commonly diagnosed illness for adult cats and dogs, affecting nearly 80 percent of those over the age of 3, according to A good dental regime can help you beat these odds and keep your pet’s mouth clean and healthy.

Symptoms of periodontal disease

Bad breath is often the first sign of oral disease but definitely not the last. Pets may also experience bleeding, swollen gums, and tooth decay. Worse yet, left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to secondary infection within the body, according to Dr. Louise Murray, of the ASPCA in New York City. “Bacteria doesn’t just stay in the mouth,” she says. Instead it can compromise the immune system and travel to the heart, lungs, and kidneys. “Oral health is important for overall health.”

Many guardians tend to wait until a problem arises before having their pet’s teeth examined and waiting too long can just makes things worse. “If it’s an emergency situation, the dentistry becomes much more involved,” Murray says. Pet guardians can avoid extensive problems by having the teeth cleaned regularly. Smith recommends annual examinations for optimum health.

In addition, by the time the physical signs of oral disease are visible, your pet has likely withstood a great deal of pain. We all know how much a toothache hurts. Dogs and especially cats are masters at hiding their distress. Alleviate the pain and you’ll see a change in personality; a once lethargic pet may become energetic and playful once again.

Next: 3 steps to good oral care

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Read more: Cats, Dogs, Everyday Pet Care, Pet Health, Pets, Remedies & Treatments, , , , ,

By Tracy Line for TAILS

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TAILS is an interactive website, online community, and print magazine that celebrates the relationship between pets and their people. TAILS features expert knowledge, advice, pet product reviews, local resource guides, community event listings, and fun contests to promote and encourage people to live responsibly with their pets.


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2:55PM PDT on Apr 20, 2014

Thank you for the orientation. Very good article.

11:10PM PST on Dec 24, 2013

You hit realize out of the most other topics.

Softouch Dental Salem

7:14AM PDT on Jul 2, 2013

thank you for sharing 2/7

6:06AM PDT on Jun 20, 2013

thanks for sharing

4:41PM PDT on May 27, 2013

Thanks for sharing.

5:26AM PDT on May 26, 2013

thank you for sharing

2:27PM PDT on May 20, 2013

Thank you so much. One of my cats has this problem, but this week i will take him to the vet, Great info!

10:05AM PDT on May 20, 2013

Thanks for sharing!

5:37AM PDT on May 20, 2013

Thanks for sharing.

4:38AM PDT on May 20, 2013

Very true. One of my cats just had a tooth extraction+she's a lot livelier! I hate to think she was in great pain...tho the cost is ridiculous+almost unafforable 4 many who love their 4 legged kids. Thanks

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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