Dental hygiene is an important part of your pet's health and can often be the cause of serious illness. Dental problems, if left untreated, can lead to larger systemic problems in your pet due to oral bacteria entering the blood stream and damaging the kidneys, heart and liver.
In fact, it is estimated that more than 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats develop tooth and gum disease by the age of three years. However, dental disease and its serious consequences can be avoided by bringing your pet to your veterinarian for regular dental check-ups and dental cleanings.
Some signs of dental problems include:
Like routine physical exams, routine dental exams are a great way to track your pet’s oral health and spot any potential issues before they become major problems. Dental exams allow us to examine your pet’s mouth and teeth for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, or other issues. As a result of this examination, we may prescribe at-home care that includes teeth brushing and/or treats and rinses that can improve oral health.
If your pet is experiencing buildup of plaque on the teeth and gums, we may recommend a dental cleaning. This procedure is a deep clean in which we scrape plaque and tartar, polish your pet’s teeth, and complete any other repairs or fillings that may be necessary.
Sometimes, we may recommend other procedures such as the extraction of a tooth if necessary.
Your pet will likely be fully anesthetized during cleanings, ensuring they don’t have to experience the stress or discomfort of having a vet working inside their mouth—particularly considering how protective pets can be of their mouths and faces.