Dogs start out with 28 baby teeth while cats start out with 26 baby teeth. By six months of age, these baby teeth fall out and are replaced with permanent teeth, 42 in the dog and 30 in the cat.
Bad breath is often the first indicator of dental disease. Gently lift the lips and check for tartar, inflamed gums, or missing/broken teeth. Cats may exhibit increased drooling. Both cats and dogs can exhibit reluctance to eat or play with toys and failure to groom. If any warning signs are present, bring your pet to the veterinarian for a dental examination.
Infected gums and teeth aren’t just a problem in the mouth – the heart, kidneys, intestinal tract, and joints may also be infected. The tartar and any infected areas of the mouth contain a multitude of bacteria that can ”seed” to other parts of the body.
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Home care combined with regular pet dental exams will make a significant improvement in your pet’s health, longevity and happiness. Please note that human tooth paste should not be used for animals as it will upset their stomachs.