What is Periodontal Disease and How to Prevent It

What is Periodontal Disease and How to Prevent It

by Petfolk Care Team

Periodontal disease, the inflammation and infection of the tissues that surround your pet’s teeth, is more common than you might think! Your pet’s gums can become inflamed when bacteria and plaque build up inside the mouth, initiating an immune response to the infection. Although this disease is more common in certain feline and canine breeds, all small animals can be susceptible. Without proper care, your pet’s teeth could need to be extracted. Sometimes, periodontal disease can lead to extra discharge from the eyes and nose, and can even aggravate the respiratory system and spread infection.

Here you’ll find common symptoms and how to prevent periodontal disease. 

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease in Pets

  • Bad breath
  • Mouth sensitivity
  • Difficulty eating
  • Excessive drooling
  • Discolored teeth
  • Blood on toys or inside water bowl

How to Prevent Periodontal Disease

Many of these signs and symptoms can be avoided through proper preventative care! Here are a few ways you can prevent periodontal disease: 

  • Get periodic dental screenings. These screenings are usually offered by your primary veterinarian, and are usually offered at a discounted rate, or as a part of your pet’s yearly exam! Here at Petfolk, we recommend your dog or cat be examined yearly, starting at one year of age. 
  • Use pet-friendly teeth cleaning products at home. Our doctors recommend the use of approved pet-friendly toothbrushes and toothpastes! Many veterinarians recommend finger toothbrushes, allowing for safe and delicate cleaning controlled by the parent. If you feel comfortable and able, try slowly conditioning your pet to grow comfortable with the introduction of a toothbrush in their nightly routine! While many treats and toys are marketed as “teeth-cleaning” you should ask your doctor and technicians for their advice when it comes to dental toys, chewables, and treats.
  • Dry food for both dogs and cats can also help tremendously when it comes to the cleanliness of teeth. In puppies and kittens, the use of dry food is a necessary practice, as it promotes healthy tooth development. 

Practices like these can help keep your pet safe, healthy, and happy. Reach out to your veterinarian for a dental screening today!

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