Dental Disease in Pets

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Spending a lot of face time with your pooch is a fun time for both of you - until you get a whiff of his breath! Taking care of your pet's teeth can do more than just freshen his breath - it could improve his quality of life.

Plaque, a colorless film on your dog's teeth, is the perpetrator of bad breath and gum disease. Because he doesn't brush his teeth like you do, this plaque can cause tartar buildup. The result is swelling, redness and inflammation of the gums - otherwise known as gingivitis. If not checked, your dog can develop periodontal disease, which destroys the gums and tissue that support his teeth.

The condition is serious, but don't worry: Dental disease is preventable and treatable in most pets. Ask your veterinarian for a complete oral checkup for your dog and schedule regular dental cleanings. If you suspect a problem, take your pet to the vet don't wait for his annual checkup.

You can also help clean his teeth daily - just by feeding him. Normal dry pet food provides a dental benefit for your dog because when he crunches on the kibbles, the moderate scraping action cleans his teeth. If your dog exhibits the more serious symptoms of gingivitis, specially formulated foods are available that do a much better job of cleaning his teeth than normal dry food. Ask your veterinarian for help in selecting the best dog food for him.

For an accurate diagnosis and treatment options, always consult your veterinarian.

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