catWhen is the last time you took a good look at your pet’s teeth? More importantly when is the last time your veterinarian took a look in your pet’s teeth? It’s not just about whether or not your cat or dog’s pearly whites are actually pearly white. Dental health is important to your pet’s overall health. Besides being unsightly and painful, infections can spread to the heart, kidneys, and other organs, and in some cases, can become life threatening.

It’s best to have your pet’s teeth examined before there are any signs of problems. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) here are some signs that may indicate pet dental health problems:

If you notice any of the symptoms below, take your pet into your veterinarian immediately:

  • Red swollen gums and brownish teeth.
  • Bad breath—Most pets have breath that is less than fresh, but if it becomes truly repugnant, similar to the smell of a rotten egg, it’s a sign that periodontal disease has already started.
  • Bleeding from the mouth.
  • requent pawing or rubbing at the face and/or mouth.
  • Reluctance to eat hard foods—for example, picking it up and then spitting it out.

Since February is Pet Dental Health month it’s a great time to have your veterinarian take a look at your pet’s teeth. If there is a problem he or she can hopefully take care of it. If not, your veterinarian can give you advice on how to keep your pet’s teeth in tip top shape!