Research states that there is a correlation between periodontal disease and systemic diseases in dogs and cats. It is time to make their oral health our priority.
Did you know that many of the dental disorders, in both dogs and cats, are similar to those found in humans. Although cavities are rare, the plaque and bacteria build up, due to poor oral hygiene, can lead to bad breath, gingivitis and periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is one of the most common health problems where , by the age of 2 years, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of the disease. In fact, the smaller the breed the higher the susceptibility to plaque and tartar build up.
Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease
Gingivitis results in inflamed red or purple gums due to bacterial plaque, however the ligaments and bone are not affected. Another common sign of gingivitis is bleeding gums on contact. Gingivitis can be reversed with proper tooth cleaning, but if left untreated can progress to periodontal disease.
In periodontal disease, tissue damage is more severe, and includes gums, ligaments and bone – it is usually seen after many years of development of plaque, tartar and gingivitis. It is irreversible and can result in permanent loss of tooth support.
Let’s Protect their Oral Health
Some simple measures can help you control the formation of tartar and plaque build-up on your companion animal’s teeth.
Brushing their teeth – Start off with a finger toothbrush and flavoured pet-toothpaste to make the experience pleasant. Once your dog is older graduate to a regular pet-toothbrush (these have long handles to allow you to access the back of your pet’s mouth without too much difficulty). Pets tend to chew the bristles so replace your pet’s toothbrush every 1-1.5 months for maximum effectiveness. For those that don’t allow toothbrushing with a toothbrush, you can rub a gauze with a pet-friendly toothpaste on their teeth and gums.
Adding supplements to their meals - One such supplement, that naturally helps oral health in dogs and cats is the ProDen PlaqueOff Powder. This supplement is made with seaweed which needs to be added to your pet’s meals daily to prevent plaque build-up. The seaweed contains a natural enzyme which helps to break down plaque and get rid of bacteria.
Encouraging safe, non-toxic Chews – The benefits of Chews are manifold. Not only do they encourage healthy behaviour, but they also support mental health by keeping dogs stimulated. Chews likenatural dehydrated bones, cow and yak cheese chews, nylon chews, hemp rope toys, to name a few, reduce bad breath and improve the health of the gums and teeth.
Research states that there is a correlation between periodontal disease and systemic diseases in dogs and cats. Three organs are particularly susceptible here: the heart, the liver and the kidney. It is our responsibility as pet-parents to ensure that our pets lead a safe and healthy life. It is time to make their oral health our priority.