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Brush Your Pet's Teeth? Here's Why Your Pet Still Needs Dental Checkups

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If you're a pet parent who does everything you can to keep your fuzzy friend healthy, chances are you brush their teeth. While this is a great habit and can help to protect your pet from developing cavities and gum disease, your pet still needs to go to a vet for regular oral exams and deep cleanings. Read on to learn about three problems your pet can develop if they don't get regular oral examinations and professional cleanings.

Plaque Buildup

Even if you brush your pet's teeth twice a day or after every meal, plaque can still develop on their teeth. If enough time passes by, that plaque will become tartar, which can only be removed by a professional. Tartar is enough of a problem on human teeth that it's necessary for humans to go to the dentist regularly, even if they floss and brush appropriately. Even when you do your very best to be thorough with your pet, chances are they're squirming and moving around, so it's likely that there may be some spots you've missed that are now developing tartar.

Tooth Resorption

Tooth resorption is a disorder that can strike any pet, including those with perfect oral hygiene. Tooth resorption is when the body begins absorbing the inner portions of the tooth through the root of the tooth. This disorder can cause pain and damage to the tooth, and if it goes on long enough, the entire tooth may be lost. This disorder can only be discovered with a thorough dental examination or x-rays, so seeing a vet regularly for dental exams is a must.

Broken or Damaged Teeth

Dogs are especially susceptible to having their teeth broken or damaged by biting hard objects, but cats can experience this problem, too. Unfortunately, once a dog or cat has bitten down and either broken or damaged their tooth, that tooth can become susceptible to infection. While brushing your pet's teeth might help to keep bacteria at bay, if the tooth isn't repaired, there will always be a risk of infection. In addition, your pet may experience a great deal of pain if the nerve of the tooth is damaged.

If you're already brushing your pet's teeth, that's a habit you should maintain. Doing so can help to prevent serious gum disease and tooth loss. However, don't overlook the necessity of seeing your veterinarian regularly for exams and thorough cleanings.