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Posted on 05-03-2018

How Pet Dental Hygiene Impacts General Health in Charlotte, NC

Pet hygiene, especially dental hygiene, is important to your pet's health because of the risk of bacterial infection entering the bloodstream. Regular dental exams and cleanings should be a part of your pet's annual wellness check at Quail Hollow Veterinary Hospital.

Cat getting a dental exam in Charlotte

Common Dental Issues

  • Oral bacteria called anaerobic bacteria are responsible for cavities, tooth decay and gum disease in both humans and pets.
  • Severe infection of the teeth and gums is called periodontitis, a disease-causing extreme tooth decay, loose teeth, and gum infection.
  • Unless treated by your veterinarian in Charlotte NC, periodontitis bacteria may enter a pet's bloodstream and produce systemic inflammation, fever, sepsis (blood infection) and even heart disease.
  • In addition, pets with loose or missing teeth and painful cavities will avoid eating or not chew their food properly. Swallowing chunks of food may lead to gastrointestinal problems and interfere with the ability of the intestines to absorb nutrients from food.

Recognizing Gum Infection in Pets

Dogs, cats, pocket pets and other animals may develop gingivitis (gum disease) if plaque is allowed to accumulate on teeth. Plaque is a type of bacterial biofilm that collects on teeth roots at the gum line. Unless removed by your pet dental veterinarian in Charlotte, plaque turns into tartar, a hard, erosive substance responsible for gum disease. Tartar expands beneath a pet's gums and forces gums to recede from teeth roots. Pets with gingivitis may also suffer serious oral infections, abscesses and possibly, loss of jawbone integrity.

Signs your pet may have oral disease include:

  • Red, swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums (infections forces capillaries to burst and bleed into gums)
  • Halitosis (bad breath due to gum disease is due to bacteria releasing foul-smelling gases)
  • Loose teeth caused by receding gums and tooth decay

Research indicates a clear association between oral disease and your pet's susceptibility to heart disease, especially if oral bacteria enter the bloodstream and travel to the heart. Additionally, certain types of oral bacteria produce sticky proteins that cling to artery walls and interfere with blood flow to and from a pet's heart.

Teeth Cleaning with Our Vet

We ensure your pet's comfort during a cleaning or other dental procedure by providing light anesthesia if necessary. During a cleaning, your vet will gently scrape off plaque and tartar, polish teeth with a special veterinary toothpaste and check for cavities, chips and other tooth abnormalities.

Contact Us Today

Call our pet hospital today at 704-278-8000 to learn more about pet hygiene or to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian in Charlotte, NC.

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