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Vet Notes : cats

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Dental Health

Next time you visit your vet, take the opportunity to get your pet's teeth checked. Although dogs do not typically develop cavitiies like we do, they can develop plaque and tartar that if left untreated, can lead to more severe problems. Cats do develop cavities and defects in the surface of their teeth that lead to the tooth being eaten away near the gumline. Cats can also develop plaque and tartar like dogs. Plaque is soft material that is made up of bacteria and food particles. It can be removed from the tooth surface by brushing or by a dental treat like Bright Bites. However, the plaque binds with the minerals in the saliva, becoming tartar. Tartar cannot be brushed off the tooth and must be removed by a dental cleaning. 

When left untreated, the tartar becomes thicker and even forms under the surface of the gums. The gums become irritated and bleed very easily. The bacteria in the mouth set up shop in these irritated gums and can easily enter the bloodstream, causing heart, kidney or liver damage. The ligament that holds the tooth in place becomes damaged and the tooth gets loose. Once this occurs, there is no going back and the only treatment is to remove the tooth.

Don't let your pet's mouth get to the point that the only solution is to remove the teeth. Get your pet's teeth checked and if needed, have them cleaned. To keep them clean, start a daily brushing program or simply use a dental treat to keep them clean. Keep your pet's mouth happy and healthy!

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