The Importance of Your Pet’s Dental Health

Maintaining your pet’s dental health is one of the best things you can do to help them live the longest, happiest life possible. Gum disease is very common in pets, and most pets exhibit symptoms or have dental disease by age 3. 

Most pets are very good at masking pain and discomfort making dental disease particularly hard to diagnose without regular vet visits. Ask your vet to include a dental exam in your pet’s yearly visit to ensure that issues or diseases can be caught early and treated. Even with healthy-looking teeth, Vets caught dental disease through X-rays in 28% of dogs and 42% of cats. This is why regular checkups for your pet’s dental health are vital!

Symptoms of Dental Issues in Pets

  • Loose or broken teeth
  • Bad Breath
  • Discolored teeth with thick tartar
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Expression of pain when touching near the mouth
  • Bleeding from the mouth
  • Swelling around the mouth
  • Excessive drooling, abnormal chewing, or dropping food while chewing

Why You Should Schedule a Dental Exam for Your Pet

  1. Built-up plaque, bacteria, and tartar can get into your pet’s gums. This can lead to lethargy and your pet avoiding food. This can also cause your pet to feel discomfort as well as lead to a much more serious infection. 
  2. Cavities aren’t always obvious, noticeable brown and black spots or holes typically develop after tooth decay is already widespread. By the time you notice a cavity, it may be too late to save the tooth.
  3. Gum disease is a common problem seen throughout cats and dogs. The American Veterinary Association notes that many pets show evidence of periodontal (gum) disease. If untreated, the painful disease can cause teeth to fall out and may even advance to fractures in your pet’s jaw.
  4. Dental exams can reveal unexpected problems. Tooth decay and gum disease aren’t the only dental issues that affect pets. Habits such as chewing on hard objects or bones can cause damage to the teeth including small cracks that aren’t obvious to the naked eye. These cracks can lead to painful abscesses forming deep inside the pet’s teeth, gums, or jaw. 


Consistent efforts towards prevention of dental issues, or any chronic issues your pet can experience, is the best way for you to avoid hospital visits or large bills for complex care in the future. Starting with regular vet visits that include a dental exam is an excellent way to manage and maintain your pet’s health for as long as possible.