This months is Pet Dental Health Month. But why does dental health need its own month? Yes bad breath, yes cavities, but is it really such a big deal? The answer is YES and we are here to tell you why!
Dental health & the rest of the body
DID YOU KNOW that all the bacteria from rotten teeth actually spread? All that nastiness drains down into your pet’s lymph nodes under their chin. This is where to body’s immune system starts to fight. However, lymph nodes are connected so bacteria can spread farther.
But, this bacteria also spreads via the blood stream. That means all the bacteria from there sneaks into other organs and causes issues!!
What issues does this traveling bacteria cause?
The organs most commonly affected by misplaced oral bacteria are the heart, liver, and kidneys. Different issues are caused in each.
Nobody wants their pet to have heart disease, but dental disease can lead to it. It most commonly causes inflammation of the valves in the heart. If the valves aren’t working, the heart can’t pump blood, which causes some major problems.
Heart disease leads to heart enlargement, fluid build-up in the lungs, and lots of other problems. It does usually cause or contribute to death. So this is a big deal!
Signs of heart disease include:
- Lack of energy
- Difficulty breathing
- Fainting episodes
- And much more
Liver & kidneys
While these are separate organs, they provide the same basic function. They filter the bad stuff from blood. Unfortunately, that means that they really, really get bad oral bacteria. But what does it look like when things go wrong?
Liver disease is very common with poor dental health. It can make your pet mildly sick to go-to-the-ER sick. Here are some common symptoms.
Kidney disease can become very serious in people and pets. And the symptoms are not always obvious in the beginning.
As you can see, if these organs become diseased, the consequences can be very dangerous. And your pet cannot live without either of these organ systems.
As you can see, oral health definitely affects the rest of your pet’s health! What’s the easiest way to prevent all of these things? Good oral health! Brushing may not be your thing (good luck brushing a cat’s teeth) but regular dental chews and teeth cleanings are definitely the best answer!!