One of my favorite medical terms is the word “halitosis”. I remember in my second year of vet school learning the meaning of this word and using it around my human family after a meal with a lot of onions. Halitosis is another word for stinky breath.
As pet owners we all know that certain smells come with having pets in our household. Often the source is periodontal disease. Have you looked in your dog’s or cat’s mouth lately? I mean really look, especially at the molars lurking far back in the recesses of their mouth. Does their breath make you want to keep them at least 20 feet away at all times? The second most commonly diagnosed disease in companion animals behind obesity is periodontal disease. At every check-up we evaluate your pet’s mouth and make the recommendation for dental prophylaxis if necessary. Just as we brush our teeth your pet will have a much healthier mouth if you brush theirs with a pet-appropriate toothpaste. Brushing will help keep dental prophylaxis from needing to be performed as often but it will still be necessary from time to time. This can prevent more serious issues from occurring later such as root abscesses and gingival recession.
In addition to brushing, appropriate food and treats can help maintain oral health. Science diet T/D is designed to keep tartar to a minimum. Certain treats and toys can be harmful to teeth. If a rawhide or chew is too rigid for you to bend, it is hard enough to fracture a tooth. My own dog Maggie fractured her carnasal tooth and I had to remove it shortly after.
If you have any questions about your pet’s dental care, give us a call. And feel free to use the term halitosis on your human family as well.