Caring for your pet’s teeth and gums is about much more than simply controlling bad breath or enhancing their appearance. Proper dental care is critical to your pet’s overall health and quality of life. Unlike human beings, our pets are unable to communicate pain and discomfort, so dental disease often goes undetected by pet owners. Its progression can lead to serious medical problems ranging from pain and tooth loss to abscesses and periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is caused by a bacterial infection in the roots of the teeth, which can then progress to the gums and surrounding tissues. Eventually, this infection can spread from the mouth to internal organs via the bloodstream. During each of your pet’s wellness exams, we also perform a dental exam. At this time, your pet’s teeth and gums will be carefully examined to determine their health and to detect any signs of possible dental disease.
If dental disease is diagnosed, your pet’s veterinarian will recommend a complete evaluation and cleaning will be performed under anesthesia. Placing your pet under carefully monitored anesthesia allows our doctors and staff to perform a thorough examination and cleaning, while eliminating anxiety and discomfort for your pet.
During your pet’s dental exam, we perform the following:
- Digital radiographs (x-rays) of the entire mouth to evaluate all areas of the gums and teeth
- Scale tartar from the teeth
- Check for loose or fractured teeth, as well as pockets where the gumline may have recessed and tartar buildup and periodontal disease may be present
- Document the current condition of your pet’s mouth for future reference and to create a dental plan
- Use a dental cleaner to remove tartar, food, and other buildup
- Polish the surface of the teeth to prevent tartar buildup
- Perform additional treatments, such as extractions, bondings, etc.
In addition to regular exams, at-home care is also important to protect your pet’s dental health. We recommend brushing your pet’s teeth daily and using pet food and chews that promote dental health.
Signs of Dental Disease
If your pet is suffering from any of the following signs, we encourage you to contact us immediately to schedule a visit:
- Bad breath
- Swollen and red gums
- Pain while eating
- Discolored or loose teeth