By 3 years of age, 85% of all dogs and cats have periodontal disease. Animals have a higher pain tolerance than humans do when it comes to oral issues. Dogs and cats are good at hiding their oral pain in front of their owners and still eat despite severe dental issues. It is important that your pet’s thorough oral exam is part of their routine family veterinary visit and if you are noticing any subtle signs of oral discomfort make sure you mention this at the time of your pets exam– drooling, reluctance to chew on one side of the mouth (tilts head when chewing), dropping food from the mouth, rubbing their face, preferring soft food vs. dry food, halitosis, or any behavior that is not normal.
Fortunately, the veterinary community is catching up with the human dental community and we can offer many of the same dental diagnostics and treatments that are found in human medicine, thus offering relief and a better quality of life for our pets.