Message Number: YG4333 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-06-05 16:15:00 UTC
Subject: Ferret Dental Hygiene


As a human dental hygienist of 14 years experience I felt compelled
respond to a recent posting:

>>>From: "estellejackson"
>>>Subject: Re: OMG! I'm supposed to be brushing their teeth?!
>>>If a ferret has a lot of plaque build up and/or infection in the
gums there
>>>is a lot of bacteria present in the mouth. When he then breathes
in he is
>>>inhaling this bacteria into his lungs.

Ummm, that's not quite correct. The bacteria is not inhaled. When a
person or
a ferret has a periodontal infection (gingivitis or gum disease),
the gum
tissue is inflamed and bleeds quite easily. This allows the bacteria
in the
mouth to enter the blood stream, where it can stick to heart valves
and cause
bacterial endocarditis (a life-threatening infection of the heart).
it has also been found that gum disease is as much a risk factor for
heart disease as elevated cholesterol. The bacteria stick to the
walls allowing the further accumulation of plaque, thereby
restricting the
flow of blood. It can also make blood sugar in diabetics harder to
and even results in low birth-weight babies. The bottom line is gum
is not limited to affecting your mouth alone, it has serious
repercussions to
your overall systemic health. Keeping your teeth and your ferrets'
clean helps keep everybody healthy(and me employed!) ;-)

Okay...I'm off my dental soapbox now! You can stop grimacing! I'll
see you at
your next dental appointment, where I'll be sure to ask...So, floss
much? > Hee-Hee!

Dodie the Dental Hygienist, in South Jersey