How Dental Disease Affects A Pet’s Overall Health

Dental health is important for dogs and cats for many of the same reasons it’s important for humans. Healthy teeth and gums allow animals to eat properly, eat without pain, and avoid experiencing discomfort or bleeding. 

Just like in humans, dental disease could have a detrimental impact on overall health, underscoring the importance of regular dental cleanings for both dogs and cats. At Dr. Kelly’s Surgical Unit, we make that important commitment for pet owners easier by offering affordable dental cleanings.

Perhaps the most vital part of dental cleanings is the regularity of them. Dental disease, like many chronic conditions, progresses. What begins as a case of bad breath, eventually turns into red and swollen gums which can at some point progress to gums that experience discharge or are painful to the touch. Ultimately, dental disease can lead to tooth loss, as well.

Dental disease in dogs and cats progresses through four phases, beginning with mild tartar, progressing to moderate tartar, building to heavy tartar and periodontal disease, and culminating in severe tartar, gingivitis, and loosening of the teeth. Sometimes, dental disease leads to a need for extractions, which we also offer at Dr. Kelly’s when they become necessary. 

The longer dental disease goes untreated, and the longer a dog or cat goes without regular dental cleanings, the more severe the outcome can be. At Dr. Kelly’s, we recommend that dogs and cats receive a dental cleaning once a year — possibly more frequently for certain breeds. And, we suggest that those cleanings begin at 2 years old. 

By offering affordable dental cleanings for dogs and cats, we’re doing what we can to make that commitment less of a financial burden for pet owners because we understand the importance of it. 

The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that periodontal disease, experienced when plaque hardens into tartar, can impact the health of the heart, the liver and the kidneys. The bacteria present in the mouth, when a dog or cat is living with periodontal disease, can enter an animal’s bloodstream and cause systemic disease. 

Fever, weight loss and decreased appetite are the most common signs of systemic disease, which causes infection and inflammation within the organs. 

The best way to avoid the effects of dental disease in dogs and cats, including systemic disease, is to schedule and attend regular dental cleanings. And, it’s never too late to get started. At Dr. Kelly’s Surgical Unit, our affordable dental care allows us to work with dogs and cats at a cost that isn’t out of reach, so we can do our best to remove tartar and plaque, and get the pet and the pet owner on the right track for healthy dental care practices. 

To learn more, or to talk about your pet’s specific dental challenges, reach out to our team!

Dr. Kelly’s Surgical Unit is a trusted veterinary team serving the Phoenix, Peoria and Tucson metro areas, with accessible locations in each market, offering highly specialized surgery, quality spay and neuter procedures, and accessible dental care for pets. Contact us to learn more about our specialized services or to schedule an appointment.   


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