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Help Your Patients Improve Their Pet’s Oral Health

Dental hygienists advocate and promote oral health for their patients and recognize the systemic effects of periodontal diseases. Dental hygienists can also assist their patients by promoting the oral health of their pets. Pet owners need to recognize that oral disease can have systemic effects on their pet’s overall health. Periodontal diseases are the most common illnesses among dogs and cats. By age 3, 75% of dogs and 60% of cats have some form of oral disease. Oral disease can cause pain and affect pets’ quality of life and longevity. Dental hygienists are well-positioned to educate their patients on the signs of dental pain in their pets, as dogs and cats often mask their discomfort. Untreated dental pain in animals can be demonstrated by teeth chattering, weight loss, change in eating habits, lethargy, and change in behavior.

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The progression of periodontal diseases in pets is similar to humans, with many modulating factors, such as the type of bacteria present, their ability to infect the host, and the host response.

Cute Puppy and Kitten Closeup Looking at Camera adogslifephoto iagodina / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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In one study, researchers found a high prevalence of periodontal inflammation among cats, with what percentage exhibiting a severe form of tissue damage?

Portrait of beautiful and fluffy tri colored tabby cat at home, natural light. undefined undefined iagodina / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Pet owners can achieve oral health for their pets with a combination of oral examinations, home care, and professional cleanings.

Closeup portrait of funny ginger cat wearing sunglasses isolated on light cyan Mark_KA iagodina / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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A pet oral examination should include which of the following?

The palm of your hand carefully embrace the face of the Siamese anna avdeeva iagodina / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Regular professional dental cleanings are key to achieving optimal health in pets.

corgi puppy and a cute tabby cat stuck their muzzles and paws out of the car window during a summer trip Nataba iagodina / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Normal sulcus depths for a mid-size dog are which of the following?

Set of young puppy french bulldog playing and activity around the house both indoor and outdoor Thitisate Thitirojanawat iagodina / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Besides the challenge of ensuring owners comply with oral health protocols, gaining compliance from the pet may also be difficult.

happy mixed breed dog posing with a kitten on his head Ksenia Raykova iagodina / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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During training, choosing a toothbrush that is the correct size for the pet is not an important consideration.

Pointer dog looking into the box with surprise iagodina / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Help Your Patients Improve Their Pet’s Oral Health
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This information is from the article Promoting Dental Health For Pets by Beatriz Madrid Hicks, MA, RDH. To read the article, click here.

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