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February is Pet Dental Month, in the US. Its organised by the The American Veterinary Medical Association who estimate more than 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats have oral disease by the time they are three years old.

ive seen a lot worse than this

ive seen a lot worse than this

The message is “go to the vet and let them check you pet’s teeth.
When you see the vet in Pet Dental month, there are lots of things that the vet will look at, apart from just the teeth.
Here is a list of some things which the veterinarian may be assessing, when they look in your pet’s mouth.
Of course, there are many benefits apart from these for a check up, as the vet will always check the whole body and not just look in the mouth!

1) bad breath. Can be a sign of dental decay, but also if the Kidneys are not working, the breath occasionally becomes bad also and so thats one thing the vet will be trying to rule out.
2) rotten teeth. These can be painful, or even cause an abscess. Bacteria around rotten teeth which are neglected for a long time can get into the bloodstream and cause further complications in some circumstances also.
3) broken teeth- any broken teeth can be painful or perhaps decay more quickly so they need to be discovered and regularly assessed.
4) tongue- check for ulcerations which could be symptoms of a virus, or other disease.
5) soft palate- young dogs can in rare cases be born with problems with the roof of the mouth, so the vet will check here in a new/ young dog.
6) growths- its possible to get lumps and growths within the mouth, either on the gums or even on the tongue, so the vet would be able to see if this was the case.
7) pale gum colour- a sign of low blood concentration which could be a sign of a problem.
8) too many teeth- sometimes baby teeth don’t fall out, then the mouth is too crowded and more prone to food sticking between the teeth and then the teeth rotting. So if the teeth have not fallen out by 6-12 months of age, the vet usually recommends these to be removed.
9) holes in the teeth- at specialist clinics its possible to do fillings although this is very rare still due to the high cost, so big holes are normally an indication that the tooth must be removed to avoid pain.
10) gingivitis- vet will check for redness/inflammation along the gum line, meaning that the gums are sore due to bad mouth hygiene- normallly requiring a dental procedure at the clinic to clean the teeth.
11) tartar- lots of brown/yellow lumps on the teeth, basically its a more solid form of plaque, again the vet needs to remove it.
12) recessed gums- a sign of severe disease in the mouth.
13) bleeding gums- also a  sign of severe mouth disease.
I like lists. Want any more PET LISTS? let me know.

This list is not fully exhaustive… see the associated thread on the Pet Doctor Forum to see if it has been added to?

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