Dental Disease in Pets

Just as people require regular dental care, so do our dogs and cats. Dental disease, especially periodontal disease, is very common in dogs and cats. Though affected pets rarely show obvious or severe symptoms, periodontal disease can be a source of significant discomfort. Studies in dogs have shown that periodontal disease is also associated with diseases in the heart, liver, and kidneys. Below are listed the signs to watch for which indicate it may be time for a dental cleaning for your pet.

  • Bad breath.
  • Loose teeth
  • Teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar.
  • Your pet shies away from you when you touch the mouth area.
  • Drooling or dropping food from the mouth.
  • Bleeding from the mouth.
  • Abnormal discharge from nose.
  • Swelling below the eye.
  • Loss of appetite or loss of weight (this combination can result from diseases of many organs, and early veterinary examination is important).

Every professional dental cleaning starts with a review of the patient’s general health and any previous dental history. Dental X-Rays may be necessary to make a proper diagnosis. Pre-anesthetic blood testing to check for liver and kidney function is highly recommended to ensure that anesthesia is as safe as possible for your pet. Professional dental cleaning removes dental plaque and tartar that cause periodontal disease. The dental deposits are removed by power and hand dental scalers. Following scaling, the teeth are polished to remove any leftover plaque and to smooth the tooth surface (which delays deposits of plaque and tartar ). You will be provided with recommendations for daily home oral hygiene specific for Dogs or Cats, and a recommendation made for a follow-up examination.

Treatment at home after a dental cleaning can include the following:

  • Tooth brushing with a pet toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Oral rinse such as Healthy Mouth
  • Dental diets and chews

Good dental care is an important part of providing for your beloved pets’ health and longevity. Your vet will discuss dental care as part of your annual wellness checkup.

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