Do You Know Your Dental Health?

Veterinarians have known for a long time that cats and dogs can have longer, healthier lives without the pain and discomfort of dental disease if proper treatment and prevention is practiced. But for a lot of us owners, brushing our pets’ teeth isn’t something we always remember to do, or even know how to do! Feeling a bit stumped about dog and cat dentistry? Here’s a quick quiz to test your knowledge:  

1.  How many teeth do adult dogs and cats have?

a.  Dogs – 32, Cats – 24

b.  Dogs – 42, Cats – 30 

c.  Dogs – 44, Cats – 36

2.  How many cats and dogs have significant dental disease that requires professional


a.  33% 

b.  50% 

c.  80%

3.  Which dental procedures can veterinarians provide for pets?

a.  Bite-wing x-rays 

b.  Ultrasonic teeth scaling and polishing 

c.  Medical and surgical treatment of periodontitis to prevent tooth loss 

d.  Root canal therapy for fractured or infected teeth 

e.  All of the above

4.  Feeding dry pet food instead of wet (canned) supports your pet’s dental health.

a.  True 
b.  False 
c.  It depends

5.  Giving daily dental treats or chews is better than brushing teeth.

a.  True

b.  False 

c.  It depends

How do you think you did? 

Here are the correct answers:  1 – b, 2 – c, 3 – e, 4 – c, 5 - b

Tuning Up Pet Teeth

These answers may surprise you. With close to 90% of all pets having common dental conditions such as tartar accumulation, gingivitis, periodontal disease, loose or broken teeth, and even bacterial infections of the gums and surrounding bone, preventative care for  periodontal disease is becoming a higher priority for many pets.
There are a few ways owners can take steps to proactively impact their pet’s periodontal health.
  • Crunchy Kibble: Certain types of dry cat and dog food are made with special textures that have a cleansing action to support dental health. There are also additives in some diets that may help prevent tartar accumulation and reduce the risk of gingivitis (infected or inflamed gum tissue). 
  • Brush it off:  The best way to ensure pet dental health is by daily toothbrushing using products and gels or pastes that are specifically made for the smaller, delicate mouths of cats and dogs. 
  • Tartar Removing Toys: There are many treats, chews, toys, and other products on the market that can help promote dental health by providing that same texture as found in the kibble. Just remember that these should always be used in addition to brushing and never in place of a good scrub.
Visit Your Vet

Many veterinarians also offer advanced, comprehensive care for dental health including digital x-rays, high-speed instruments, delicate surgery of the oral tissues, and even root canals. Be sure to check with your vet to see what action steps are needed to help improve your pet’s dental health and overall wellbeing.
Interested in learning more about how your pet’s kibble can support periodontal health? Visit to learn about specially formulated pet food with a complete nutritional profile to promote periodontal health.