Dental Differences Between Pets and People

Did you ever wonder if your pets have the same issues with their teeth as you do? Can my dog get cavities? Can my cat develop plaque or tartar buildup? Should they undergo professional cleanings just as I would?

Like people, pets can develop plaque buildup, but it rarely leads to cavities. One reason may be that there are lower amounts of decay-causing sugars in a pet’s diet. Plaque buildup can lead to tartar formation on your pet’s teeth, which can then lead to inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and dental disease. In humans, daily brushing with a fluoride-based toothpaste removes most of this plaque, thus preventing tartar from forming in the first place. However, fluoride can make your pet sick so you should brush your pet’s teeth daily with a toothpaste that is specifically formulated for pets. In addition, dental chews, toys, treats, rinses and wipes that contain special enzymes can also help control the accumulation and maintain the health of your pet’s teeth. There are even some pet foods specially formulated to address dental disease such as the Hill’s® and Royal Canin® brands. Be sure to ask your veterinarian for a recommendation.

Most people see their dentists regularly for professional cleanings and preventive care. It’s essential that your pet has regular dental examinations and annual professional dental cleanings. If dental disease is detected, appropriate treatment can be recommended before your pet develops severe gum disease. Treatment can help prevent pain in the mouth and tooth loss.

The best way to keep your pet’s teeth healthy is through regular professional pet dental cleanings and consistent at-home care. Remember that serious dental problems can be prevented if detected early on.

Need more information?

Call 1.877.443.7469 to schedule a cleaning or consultation at your neighborhood Banfield. You can also learn more about Banfield’s best-in-class dental health approach on our dental care page.

Did you know?

Active Prevention and Special Care Optimum Wellness Plans® include annual dental cleanings for dogs and cats.

Learn more about how you can give your pet the preventive care he deserves by choosing a personalized Optimum Wellness Plan today.