, Newburyport, MA


February 14, 2014

Paw Prints: A dental pop quiz


8. Some dogs’ tongues always stick out. That’s not a concern.

False. Have Fido’s mouth carefully checked by your veterinarian. Fido might be sticking his tongue out because of a jaw problem. Some dogs place their tongue between their teeth to cushion a painful area when their mouth closes.

9. No one talked about periodontal disease in pets years ago, so it’s not important now.

False. Dentistry is a rapidly evolving area of medical care. It affects overall health and well-being, from heart disease to quality of life. We are more aware of dental health in humans and animals than we were years ago.

10. Red gums in pets is a sign of disease.

True. Usually, the first sign of periodontal disease in pets is red gums. By age 3, almost 80 percent of cats and dogs have periodontal disease.

Talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s dental care. Fresh breath and a happy, healthy smile are a terrific Valentine’s gift.


Dr. Heidi Bassler practices at Bassler Veterinary Hospital ( at Crossroads Plaza in Salisbury. She hosts a radio show, “Your Pet’s Health,” every Sunday morning at 8:30 on WNBP 106.1 FM and 1450 AM. Do you have questions for Dr. Bassler? Send them to

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