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Most pet owners do not realize that nearly three out of four dogs and cats suffer some kind of dental problem before they are five years old. Your veterinarian in Midlothian wants all pet owners to be aware of a particularly serious oral infection called periodontitis, which can cause severe inflammation of the gums, tooth decay, tooth loss, and even heart disease. When bacteria and food particles accumulate on an animal's teeth, a biofilm called plaque forms that contain billions of bacteria responsible for eroding dental enamel. Plaque buildup eventually becomes tartar, a destructive, very hard substance that cannot be removed by simply brushing your pet's teeth. Bacteria found in plaque and tartar may also contribute to a blood infection if enough bacteria manage to infiltrate the bloodstream.
Since dogs and cats do not like having their mouths forced open or their lips pulled back, pet owners tend to ignore their pet's oral health if the animal seems healthy and is eating normally. Signs of possible dental problems that do not require pet owners to inspect their pet's mouth include:
Bacterial infections inside or outside a tooth can spread easily to other parts of the mouth, especially to other teeth that are also compromised by decay, cavities or fractures but are not yet infected. If you think your pet may be suffering dental issues, please make an appointment with your Midlothian veterinarian as soon as possible for a complete dental exam.
Digital x-rays provide your Richmond metro area veterinarian with high-resolution images without exposing your pet to excessive radiation. In addition, digital imaging techniques for pet dental care improve the ability of your vet to detect in-between teeth decay, embedded oral tumors, early stage infections and abscesses that often remain unseen by traditional x-rays. Digital x-ray technology can also detect minor teeth and gum issues before they develop into serious diseases requiring extensive and expensive treatments.
Dental emergencies involve profuse bleeding from the mouth, jaw swelling, severe pain and loosened/lost teeth. Cracked or chipped teeth that do not hurt, bleed or otherwise cause discomfort are not necessarily dental emergencies but should still be seen by your 24 hour vet in Midlothian.
Pet dental care is an essential part of our pet's overall health and wellness care. To schedule an appointment for a dental exam, please call the Richmond metro area Animal Medical Center at 804-639-3900.
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