February and March are celebrated as pet dental months here at Mountain Road Animal Hospital. We take our and your pets’ oral health as seriously as our human oral health.
Here are 15 fun facts about pet dental care:
1. Dogs have 42 adult teeth, and cats have 30 (Humans typically have 32).
2. Puppies/kittens should lose a baby tooth before the adult tooth emerges. If the baby tooth is still in place when the adult tooth emerges, it is called a retained deciduous tooth. These retained teeth are removed (often during your pets neuter) so as not to affect the pets’ occlusion (how the teeth fit together when the mouth closes) as well as to prevent food from getting trapped in those tight spaces.
3. Puppies/kittens lose their baby teeth between 4-6 months of age.
4. Periodontal disease is the most common clinical condition among our pets.
5. Dogs have about 1700 taste buds compared to humans who have about 9000!
6. Human toothpaste can be toxic to our pets. We spit our toothpaste out after brushing our teeth. However, our pets can’t. Specially formulated pet toothpaste is designed to be swallowed.
7. Infection in your pet’s mouth can spread in the bloodstream to vital organs which can lead to severe health complications and even death.
8. 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have dental disease by the age of 3!
9. Our pets tend to hide it well when their teeth hurt. You may notice a decreased appetite, resistance to chewing bones, excessive drooling, facial swelling, bad breath etc.
10. 1 in 3 pet owners think that bad breath is normal – IT’S NOT!
11. Pets rarely get cavities because they don’t eat sweets and their jaws/tooth surfaces are different from ours. They DO, however, suffer from gum disease, root abscesses, broken teeth etc.
12. Small dog breeds are more likely to develop periodontal disease than large dogs because the teeth of small dogs are too large for their mouths.
13. Facial swelling below the eye is usually due to an infection of the Carnassial tooth. Sneezing and nasal discharge may be due to contamination of the upper canine tooth. This infection may lead to an opening between the mouth and the nasal cavity which is called an Oronasal fistula.
14. Human mouths have way more germs than pet’s mouths do.
15. Professional dental care for our pets is the same as ours. It includes exams, x-rays & cleaning.
Call or stop by our office to book your pet’s dental cleaning!
Written by Lisa Michalik RVT