According to the American Veterinary Dental College more than 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have dental disease by the age of 3. Dental disease can be very uncomfortable for pets and the longer it is left untreated, the more complicated and expensive it becomes to treat. Furthermore, improper care of your pet’s teeth can often be the cause of serious illness. If left untreated, dental problems can lead to larger systemic problems in your pet due to oral bacteria entering the blood stream and damaging the kidneys, heart and liver.
If your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms, please make an appointment immediately:
- Yellow or brown buildup (tartar) on the teeth
- Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Excessive drooling
- Changes in eating or chewing habits
- Pawing at the face
- Loose teeth
Proper dental care is one of the easiest ways to protect your pet’s health and keep them pain free. During your pet’s oral exam, we will examine your pet’s mouth, teeth, and jaw. We may recommend x-rays to assess the health of your pet’s tooth roots, as well. Regular oral exams, help prevent irreversible dental disease, tooth loss, and possibly expensive oral surgery.
Your pet’s dental cleaning will begin with a physical examination, so we can evaluate your pet’s general health. After the physical exam, your pet will be given an anesthetic for a safe and painless teeth cleaning since most dental disease starts below the gumline. The first part of dental cleaning requires the removal of tartar using a hand scaler. Next, an ultrasonic scaler is used to clean above the gum line while a curette cleans and smooths the teeth under the gum line in the crevice between the teeth and gums. Then your pet’s teeth are polished, and the gums are washed with an anti-bacterial solution to help delay tartar build-up.
Extractions and Advanced Procedures
Our veterinarians will only recommend tooth extractions if we believe it is necessary for your pet’s wellbeing. We usually recommend this when we identify that your pet has an infected or broken tooth that is likely causing them pain. In the case that we recommend a tooth extraction, we will discuss what this means for your pet and how to properly care for them while they’re healing.
How To Prevent Dental Disease Before It Begins
Regular wellness visits allow us to check your pet’s mouth and teeth and identify issues before they progress. Additionally, at-home dental care including regularly brushing your pet’s teeth and using teeth cleaning treats can prevent plaque from building up. Lastly, avoid hard toys and bones that can potentially damage your pet’s teeth.