If you’ve ever had a toothache, you know the extreme discomfort that it brings. You would do just about anything to get the pain to stop. Fortunately for humans, one call to your dentist is all it takes to get the solution under way. But what do our pets do when they encounter dental issues?


It is estimated that eighty percent of dogs and cats over the age of three have some form of periodontal disease. Plaque build-up and bacteria exacerbate gum disease, causing gums to become inflamed and bleed. Over time, this will cause root abscesses, permanent damage to the teeth and a lot of pain. And the scariest part is that bacteria from these infections can travel into the bloodstream, causing subsequent heart, liver and kidney problems down the road.


Unlike getting your cavities filled, root canals or crowns, if your pet has advanced oral problems the only course of action is tooth extraction. The key is prevention. One of the most important things you can do for your pet is to keep their teeth healthy.


One way to help maintain your pet’s oral health is daily brushing. Dogs and cats may resist the process early on, but with patience and determination, they may eventually be trained to tolerate it reasonable well.. There are specially formulated pet toothpastes available, so don’t grab the Crest toothpaste from your bathroom drawer! Some are even flavored to make the ordeal more enjoyable. The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) also reviews many foods and treats that are designed with oral health care in mind, and these products can help control plaque and tartar in both dogs and cats while providing all essential nutrition otherwise found in other pet foods.


But the most essential step you can take in maintaining your pet’s teeth is to schedule regular dental visits. Just as we brush and floss our teeth but still have regular cleanings conducted by a dentist, your veterinarian can assess the complete health of your pet’s mouth and administer procedures above and beyond simply brushing or feeding them with dentally-friendly foods. The dental services and teeth cleanings provided by Normandale Veterinary Hospital are essential to the long-term health and well-being of your furry friends. They can’t call the vet if their mouth hurts – so it’s up to you to do what must be done!