Since animals cannot take charge of their own dental health care, they are often susceptible to dental disease without proper care from their owners. Some examples of dental diseases are:
If untreated, dental disease can cause significant pain and discomfort due to, for example, the accumulation of bacteria. To imagine what it could be like, think what your teeth would be like if you were to skip brushing your teeth for years, or visiting the dentist for a professional cleaning on a routine basis.
Here are some symptoms that may be indicative of dental disease:
If you notice any of these symptoms, let us know as soon as possible!
Step 1: Regular Examinations
Even if you take excellent care of your pet’s teeth and gums at home, you still need to bring them in for examinations regularly, just like you do for yourself. We can check for problems that you may not notice. Examples of things that you may not notice until an advanced stage include gum disease and oral cancer. Regular visits allow us to find early signs of disease, so oral care (and its costs) can be manageable.
We use radiographs to examine your pet’s oral cavity only if we notice visible tartar, decayed teeth, or signs of pain during the standard visual dental examination. This is a very important step in the diagnosis of dental disease.
Removal of teeth are suggested in cases of advanced dental disease. If the teeth and gums have severe damage, extractions are most likely needed to relieve your pet of chronic pain. All dental extractions follow surgical protocols focused on safety and pain management.
Step 2: Cleanings
We put all of our patients under general anesthesia, as our dentistry tools can scare some pets (and it is legally required). To fully clean the teeth and gums of bacteria, we use dental technology similar to what you would find at your dentist office to deep-clean above and below the gumline.
Some of the tools we use include:
Step 3: At Home Care
If you are able to safely brush your pet’s teeth at home, great! Do that! However, for most people, this is not possible. For most pets, rinses, treats, and toys that will help break down plaque and tartar build-up are your best options.
Your veterinarian will provide you with pet-safe dental product recommendations, such as toothbrushes, toothpastes, etc. It is not a good idea to use human toothbrushes or paste on your pets. If you have a new puppy or kitten, it is also a good idea to get them used to teeth brushing early.
Dental care is extremely important, so be sure to be aware of your pet’s oral health. If you have any questions about your pet’s oral health, or just about dental care in general, be sure to ask us as soon as possible!