Dental health is important to your pet’s overall health, and we recommend you have your pet’s teeth checked once a year. Dental problems can cause – or be caused – by other health problems. Periodontal disease is a common dental condition in dogs and cats, and it’s likely that by the time your pet is 3 years old they will have some early signs of periodontal disease, which will continue to worsen if not treated. This condition starts with plaque that hardens into tartar below the gumline, setting the stage for infection and damage to the jawbone and tissues that connect the teeth to the jawbone.
Daily or regular brushing of your pet’s teeth is the best thing we can recommend to avoid periodontal disease, but we realize your pet may not appreciate your efforts,
A dental exam is normally done under anesthesia to reduce stress and discomfort for the animal, and to allow for thorough cleaning below the gumline where most disease occurs. We also offer dental nerve blocks to prevent pain. The exam will begin with a visual inspection, and X-rays may be recommended to determine the health of your pet’s teeth and jaw below the gumline. We will perform a dental cleaning that includes scaling (removal of plaque and tartar) and polishing, much like when you have your teeth cleaned.
You should have your pet’s teeth checked if you notice any of the following:
- bad breath
- broken or loose teeth
- extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
- abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- reduced appetite or refusal to eat, pain in or around the mouth
- bleeding from the mouth
- swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth