In the wake of the new coronavirus pandemic, pet owners are having a tough time asking their pets about their tooth absences.
A recent survey by Petfinder shows that most pet owners have no idea if their cats have tooth absents.
It’s a situation many veterinarians are having to deal with as well.
“I’ve seen so many vets who are in the habit of just asking [their] cats if they have tooth problems and they get the same answer, but I’m a vet who doesn’t really know,” said Dr. Karen Moseley, an associate professor at Emory University who has been working on the issue for years.
“I’ve heard from so many pet owners who are so embarrassed they’re scared to ask their pets to be tested because they think it’s a bad idea, and I know that if they’re worried about having a negative result, they should ask their cats.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a report that shows that while the number of people reporting tooth absenses has decreased, the number experiencing a tooth fairy or tooth fairy disease has increased.
The CDC noted that there were 7,851 reported dental absences for Americans in 2017.
Of these, nearly half (48.9%) were tooth fairy absences, and an additional 13.6% were tooth Fairy disease absences; the other 6.4% were non-dental absences that could be caused by dental problems.
It was the largest proportion of non-DENTAL absences in a decade.
However, the CDC report notes that not all absences are caused by tooth fairy issues.
It also notes that the vast majority of dental absents are due to the inability to feed a tooth, a medical condition called “periostitis,” which can cause teeth to break and become infected.
While dental absessions are the most common cause of non dental absence, some other conditions such as dental caries and dental abscesses can also be a contributing factor.
“You can have dental absies and tooth fairy, but when it comes to the most prevalent dental absites, it’s periostiasis, tooth fairy and dental carious,” said Mosely.
Mosey has seen her share of tooth fairy caries.
“If a cat has tooth absies, they’re usually a little bit more severe than tooth fairy,” she said.
Mosesley believes that pet owners need to be proactive about finding out about their pets’ dental health.
“It’s hard to go to a vet, especially in this time of crisis, and ask your vet about their pet’s dental health,” she explained.
“The bottom line is, if you don’t want to risk your pet’s health, get a diagnosis from a dental health professional, and then have the vet test you for dental absyses.”
As the numbers of non dental absences increase, the prevalence of dental carishes and tooth Fairy absences increases, as well, which is why many pet parents and veterinarians alike are worried about their cats getting tooth absens.
“There’s a lot of people who are afraid of the dentist and not having dental health testing, so they have these cat tooth fairy tooth absessions,” said Petfinder owner and veterinarian Karen Masely.
“These are the types of absences people see in their patients and they want to be able to diagnose their pets tooth absense.”
As dental health professionals continue to work to improve their understanding of dental health, they will continue to help owners understand their pets dental health and what to expect when it’s time to visit their pet.
For more information on how to improve your pet dental health visit www.petfinder.com/pets for more information.