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WHY IS DENTAL CARE IMPORTANT?
Imagine what would happen if you didn't brush your teeth on a regular basis.  Most of us don't even want to think about it!  Dental care is just as important for your pet as it is for you. Periodontal disease causes pain and tooth loss; it is also the most common infectious disease in both dogs and cats.  Infection from the disease in the oral cavity can spread harmful bacteria to the bloodstream and affect the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys.  In fact, 1 milligram of plaque contains over 1 trillion bacteria.

POSSIBLE SIGNS OF PERIODONTAL DISEASE
*Bad breath*
*Yellow-brown crust on the teeth*
*Change in chewing or eating habits*
*Abnormal drooling*
*Subdued behavior*
*Red gums*

WHAT CAN WE DO?
The first step is to make an appointment for a dental exam if your pet hasn't been in for an exam recently.  At that time, you and the doctor can discuss the benefits and risks of dental cleaning under anesthesia.  The doctor may also recommend a pre-anesthetic blood panel to rule our liver and kidney problems.

PREVENTION IN A CLEAN MOUTH
Brushing your pet's teeth is the best at home program you can do.  Starting to brush when your pet is young is a benefit.  However, you can start at any age.  Brushing their teeth will not get rid of the plaque and tartar that is already present but it will help maintain a healthy mouth. 
In situations where the pet's teeth cannot be brushed many products are available to help maintain a healthy mouth.  Hill's makes a food that help prevent plaque and gingivitis; both foods are available for cats and dogs.  An oral hygiene raw hide chew which uses a dual enzyme system to help control plaque and bacteria build up, plus water additives and gels that are rubbed on the gum line are available as well.
We are here to help!  If you have any questions on setting-up a dental care plan for your pet just ask and we can get you started.

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