Many owners are diligent about their pet’s dental care during February, National Pet Dental Month, but dental care extends beyond one month. Dental disease is the most common medical problem seen among dogs and cats. People understand the importance of dental care and routinely have their teeth cleaned. With our pets, dental care is a less common practice. Studies by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) reveal that nearly two-thirds of pet owners do not provide the dental care recommended by veterinarians. At Prescott Animal Hospital, it is our goal to educate our community on the importance of routine dental care, before it is a serious problem and oral surgery is required. We understand that pet owners are often surprised about the cost of recommended veterinary services and dental care is no exception. We do not want owners to chose care for their pet based strictly on price; we want them to chose based on the value and quality of care their pet is receiving. Our recommendations include what we feel is in the best health and safety interest of the patient. We believe each patient is unique and we treat each patient based on their individual needs. Periodontal disease (dental disease) is the destruction of bone, gum tissue and structures that hold the teeth in place. This disease is caused by bacterial infection that spreads underneath the gum line. Significant damage is already done by the time there are obvious signs of periodontal disease, such as bad breath, painful and loose teeth. Dogs and cats in the advanced stages of periodontal disease often require oral surgery to extract many teeth. This disease can also affect the overall health of your pet, including heart, liver and kidneys.