Though National Pet Dental Health Month has ended, it is never too late for some final dental health tips. Being proactive with your pet’s dental health through preventative measures is always the best way to tackle a problem before it arrives. However, it’s important to know the warning signs of any dental disease that has managed to manifest despite your preemptive measures.
Discoloration of the tooth is never a good sign. If you have noticed yellow or brown matter on your pet’s teeth, it could indicate tartar buildup or even a cavity. Though your pet cannot verbally tell you that something is wrong, you may notice him pawing at the mouth, which suggests he is having some sort of oral pain. Left untreated, your pet could even begin to painfully lose his teeth, so be sure to consult a veterinarian if you notice any tooth discoloration.
Inflamed or Bleeding Gums
Inflamed, red, or bleeding gums can signify that your cat or dog has developed gingivitis or periodontitis. If your pet has become sensitive to brushing or you notice blood in his food bowl or on his favorite chew toys, these are big signs it is time for a trip to the vet.
Gingivitis can also cause tartar to form along the gum line. Tartar forms when plaque is left to build and harden on the tooth surface, which can leave to serious periodontal diseases. If your pet’s gums look concerning, your veterinarian can properly assess and diagnose any problem he may have.
Changing Eating Behaviors
If your cat or dog is not eating like he used to, he may be trying to tell you something. A change in eating behavior is one of the first signs pet parents notice about their pets. If he has begun dropping food on the floor while he eats, favors one sign when chewing, or has stopped eating all together, it could be a sign that your cat or dog’s mouth is bothering him.
Pet owners often complain about their pet’s breath, and many times it does not indicate something serious, merely an unfortunate side effect of owning a cat or dog. However, there are times when horribly bad breath is a symptom of some form of dental disease.
If your pet has infected gums or a tooth abscess, it may reveal itself in unusually bad breath. If you are concerned of this possibility, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and take your pet to the veterinarian to rule anything out. Otherwise, you can combat a smelly mouth with daily brushing, dental treats, and water solutions that promote better smelling pet breath.
You know your pet best, so it is up to you be stay vigilant and recognize when something looks out of ordinary. Be on the lookout for these warning signs and you are sure to catch any possible dental health issues before they worsen.