It is important, as pet parents, that we “flip the lip” of our dog or cat. This will help to determine if your pet is at risk for periodontal disease which occurs when bacteria form plaque on the teeth.
Here are some tips:
“Flip the lip” when your pet is at rest.
Lift up the lip on the side of the mouth and get a good look the molars in the back of the mouth. Look for signs of dental disease such as redness, bleeding, and discoloration of teeth (plaque).
It is important to address early signs of dental disease with your veterinarian before it becomes a major issue.
Periodontal Disease and Your Pet
Periodontal Disease is a progressive inflammation of the supporting structures surrounding the teeth and is the main cause of early tooth loss. The combination of gingivitis and periodontitis is known as periodontal disease. Bacteria from dental disease can travel through the bloodstream and infect the heart, kidneys and liver.
Signs of periodontal disease include:
Redness or bleeding along the gum line
Drooling, which may have some blood in it
Pawing at the mouth
Loose or missing teeth
Facial swelling, especially under the eyes
It is important to have your pets teeth cleaned regularly by your veterinarian. In addition, cleaning them at home on a consistent basis helps to avoid abscesses, extractions, discomfort and systemic disease that result from a poorly maintained mouth.