The most common disease in dogs and cats is dental disease. It affects approximately 68% of cats and 76% of dogs. Periodontal disease impacts the teeth and gums, and is given a score of grade 1 to grade 4, based on severity. (A grade of 0 indicates no periodontal disease).
Brody had Grade 1 dental disease. This is the grade given when there is mild inflammation of the gums and some plaque covering the teeth.
When told that their pet has Grade 1 dental disease, many Pet-Parents choose not to treat the disease, in stead opting to wait until it has progressed to a Grade 2 or even a Grade 3. While every person’s and pet’s situation is different, there are several reasons why it is better to treat sooner, rather than later.
- It is less costly. Many Pet-Parents choose to wait on dental treatment for their dog or cat because they need to save money. While this is an understandable concern, many times waiting will cost more in the long run. The largest cost involved in treatment is anesthesia, and the lower the grade, the less time your pet will need to spend under anesthesia. This leads to point #2:
- It is safer. We do everything we can to ensure your pet’s safety during any medical procedure. Dentistry is no exception! However, there is always some risk involved with anesthesia. The less time your pet spends under anesthesia, the better! This is another reason we recommend treating dental disease as soon as it is detected, rather than waiting until it is a higher grade.
- It prevents pain. A Grade 1 is generally not painful, but a Grade 2 is likely to be painful, and Grades 3 and 4 almost certainly are. This pain may also influence eating behaviors and overall health and well-being of the pet.
- It saves teeth. By waiting until a later stage of the disease process, we increase the risk that there will be irreversible damage to a tooth and that the tooth or teeth will need to be extracted.