Beatriz Hicks, a clinical associate professor in the Department of Periodontics, Division of Dental Hygiene has just published an article about the consequences of oral disease in pets in Dimensions of Dental Hygiene.
The paper is titled “Promoting Dental Health For Pets” and was published in the November 2020 issue.
“Periodontal disease is the most common illnesses in dogs and cats. By the age of three, 75% of dogs and 65% of cats have some form of oral disease,” Hicks explained. “Research has shown an association of periodontal disease in dogs and cats and an increased risk of cardiomyopathy and endocarditis. Other associations have shown changes in the kidney, myocardium, and liver.”
She teaches in our M.S. in Dental Hygiene program. Hicks teaches a module in veterinary dentistry to the senior dental hygiene students yearly and has presented at American Dental Hygienists’ Association annual session on this topic before. In the future, she would like to eventually do a continuing course on the topic for a fundraiser for Beta Sigma Chapter in San Antonio where she serves as treasurer.
She would like the public to know that prevention is of the upmost importance to increase the quality of life in pets so they do not get periodontal disease.
“Pet owners should take their pets to a veterinarian yearly so they can get an exam and a professional dental cleaning. Evidence demonstrates that food, chews, treats, and rinses can reduce plaque and bacterial accumulation. However, the most effective way to promote oral health is by frequently brushing your pet’s teeth. It is important for pet owners to take an active role in improving and maintaining the oral health of their pets.”
Hicks is an alumna of UT Health San Antonio and graduated with her Certificate in Dental Hygiene in 1986. She received her Master of Arts in Higher Education from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and has 30 years of teaching experience at UT Health San Antonio. To see her faculty profile, click here.