Imagine what your mouth would feel like if you never brushed your teeth or went to the dentist. For many dogs and cats, this is a painful reality. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, more than 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have dental disease by the age of 3. Dental (or periodontal) disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem in pets.
Common signs of dental disease include:
- 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
Even if your dog or cat doesn’t have these symptoms, we recommend that you have a veterinarian evaluate your pet’s dental health at least once a year. Bacteria and food debris accumulate around the teeth and, if left unchecked, will lead to deterioration of the soft tissue and bone surrounding the teeth. This decay can result in irreversible periodontal disease, tooth loss, and possibly expensive oral surgery.
Dental disease can also affect other organs in the body: Bacteria in the mouth can get into the bloodstream and cause serious infections in the kidneys, liver, lungs, and heart. If these problems aren’t caught and treated quickly enough, they can result in death. A physical exam combined with appropriate laboratory work can determine if infection in the mouth has spread.
Your veterinarian may recommend a dental cleaning. This is a routine procedure, requiring anesthesia, that will help maintain good oral health for your pet, and may be necessary to address dental disease. Your pet’s safety during the procedure is our highest concern. With every dental cleaning you can expect:
- Pre-anesthetic exam & blood work: To check that your pets internal organs are functioning properly & that your pet is healthy enough to undergo anesthesia.
- Anesthesia and monitoring: To ensure the safety of your pet during anesthesia, we will monitor and record your pets vital signs (heart rate, body temperature, respiration and other important factors).
- Scaling and polishing: The removal of plaque and calculus as well as smoothing out any scratches on the tooth’s enamel.
Schedule your pet’s dental exam today! We can also help show you how to brush your pet’s teeth and recommend foods and treats that will help combat plaque and tartar buildup.