Since February is National Cat Health Month and also Pet Dental Month, we thought we would provide you with some information on the two most common dental issues seen in cats by veterinarians.
Professional periodontal treatment is important to the health and well-being of dogs and cats. Poor oral health may directly affect an animal’s overall health. Recent studies have shown there is an association with advanced periodontal disease and heart disease further validating the importance of periodontal health. Other studies have shown similar implications for the relationship of periodontal disease to heart, liver and kidney disease in the dog.
Periodontal disease is the loss of the periodontal attachment apparatus (periodontal ligament, alveolar bone, cementum and gingiva). Since 75-85% of these structures are identified below the soft tissues of the oral cavity (e.g. gingiva, alveolar mucosa, and palatal mucosa), a thorough clinical subgingival evaluation and intraoral radiographs are required to assess, diagnose and treat periodontal disease.
Preventive care and client education is an important step to introducing, implementing and improving overall dental and oral medical quality in your practices. Understanding the veterinary team’s (DVMs, veterinary technicians and assistants, receptionists, managers) role in preventing periodontal disease before pathology develops through the three keys to preventive dental care are critical steps to embrace. Suggestions for partnering with your clients to actively involve them in their pet’s oral home care, understanding client perceptions, providing confident and personalized recommendations, working as a team to change and improve the hospital culture will be addressed.