In an added effort to provide your pet with quality care, we offer pet dental services in our veterinary office. It is estimated that 80% of pets exhibit the beginning stages of periodontal disease by age 3, which is why dental exams and teeth cleanings are essential. Also, studies indicate that pets with good oral hygiene tend to live 2 to 4 years longer than pets who have severe dental disease. While periodontal disease is entirely preventable, when left untreated it can lead to severe oral infection and pain. Once an infection develops in the mouth, complications like a reduced appetite, systemic infection from bacteria entering the blood stream and tooth loss can develop.
Reasons for regular dental check-ups: Periodontal Disease Chart
Prevent tooth loss due to periodontal disease
Help your pet avoid unnecessary pain
Help your pet maintain healthy and functional teeth
Improve foul breath
Prevent potential damage to the brain, heart, liver, lungs, and kidneys
What does pet dental care involve?
Pets can experience many of the same dental issues that humans do, including tartar accumulation, gingivitis, periodontal disease, retained baby teeth, tooth fractures, and tooth overcrowding. Regular dental exams and cleanings can help you avoid the costliness of involved dental procedures and can help prevent your pet from unnecessary suffering.
Pet dental exams are similar to human dental exams. The teeth and gums should be examined yearly as part of a wellness examination. Dental radiographs may also be performed to identify problems below the gums if necessary.
If dental disease is present, a cleaning with or without extractions may be recommended. A complete dental cleaning is performed under general anesthesia. During your pet’s teeth cleaning, a dental technician will gently clean the surface of the teeth with an ultrasonic scaler. Any tartar that is above the gum line will be removed with a hand scaler. After scaling the teeth, the technician lightly buffs and polishes your pet’s teeth. To complete their dental cleaning, a barrier sealant is applied to all surfaces of the teeth. Your pet may be placed on antibiotics before or after their dental cleaning, depending on how severe their dental disease is.
After the cleaning, we will provide you with a comprehensive analysis of your pet’s oral health. You will receive at-home oral hygiene tips specific to your pet, and if any serious dental conditions exist, we may refer you to a dental specialist.
Some simple home hygiene tips are:
Brush your pet’s teeth at least once a day to cut down on tartar build-up.
Use dental products like wipes, rinses and water additives to help protect gums and lessen tartar.
Feed dry pet food. It is better for teeth than canned food because it causes abrasion to tooth surfaces when chewed. This helps remove tartar build-up. Even the smallest Chihuahua can chew dry food and the bigger the kibble the better. Dental treats may also contain products to help dissolve tartar from the teeth.
There are many pet toys that support dental health. Buying your pets these toys not only entertains them, but offers a dual purpose in helping clean their teeth.
Remember, creating a smooth clean tooth surface makes it more difficult for tartar and plaque to build up!
If you would like to schedule a professional dental cleaning for your pet, call our office to schedule an appointment, and allow your pet to experience a healthy smile!