Pet Dental Health

Published: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 10:15 AM.

There is also the possibility that the bacteria surrounding the root of the tooth gains access to the bloodstream, which can lead to microscopic damage of the heart, liver, and kidney. As the severity of the gum disease increases, so does the damage.

The best way to ward off potential oral disease in your pet is by keeping your pet’s teeth clean and checkups regular.

Your veterinarian and local pet retail stores should carry toothbrushes and toothpaste for your pets. Different flavors of toothpastes are available for dog and cats.

"Your pet needs to get their teeth cleaned yearly," said Dodd. "Most veterinary clinics should offer dental cleaning services, but if they do not they can refer you to someone who does."

To help ward off gum diseases and bad breath, there are products you can feed your pet that help improve and promote oral health.

"There are certain dog treats that help promote good dental health," said Dodd. "The right kind of treat should crumble, be easily crushed, and contain chlorhexadine or a hydrogen peroxide-type additive that can help with the bacteria count in the animal's mouth. Balancing this bacteria count can help prevent and get rid of bad breath."

A helpful guide to go by when considering your pets' oral health is the Veterinary Oral Health Council website. They have a compiled list of products that are intended to help reduce the buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth of animals and have created the VOHC seal of approval. To see the full list of VOHC approved products visit

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