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Why is veterinary dentistry so important, particulary for capitive exotic animals?

Consider the state in which you'd find your mouth if you never, ever visited the dentist. Now imagine you are a wild animal, relegated to a life behind bars. You are frustrated, you want your freedom, so you cage-bite. The biting force of your jaws is much stronger than your teeth, so you break off your canine. The pain is excruciating. You have no way of letting your caretakers know what's wrong, so you rub your face on your enclosure or act out aggressively.

Your tooth has been broken for a while, collecting bacteria, resulting in infection. Because bloodflow is central to the mouth, if your broken tooth is left untreated, the infection can spread throughout your body, leading to heart, liver, kidney failure - eventually death.