Pet Dental Health

Dental Health Facts
Canine Dental Facts
The most common form of canine dental disease is tartar buildup. This causes irritation of the gums around the base of the teeth (gingivitis), resulting in exposure of the roots. Ultimately, this leads to infection and tooth loss.

If tartar is allowed to remain on the teeth, several things may happen:

1) The tartar will mechanically push the gums away from the roots of the teeth. This allows the teeth to loosen in their sockets and infection to enter the root socket. The teeth will loosen and fall out or have to be extracted.

2) Infection will accumulate in the mouth, resulting in gingivitis, tonsillitis, and pharyngitis (sore throat). Although antibiotics may temporarily suppress the infection, if the tartar is not removed from the teeth, infection will return quickly.

3) Infection within the mouth will be picked up by the blood stream and carried to other parts of the body. Kidney infections, as well as infections involving the heart valves, frequently begin in the mouth.

Feline Dental Facts
Dental disease is a common and often overlooked problem in cats.  Diagnosis of dental disease is usually very straightforward. However, in most cases, the true extent of the disease cannot be determined unless the cat is under anesthesia. This facilitates a more complete examination of the oral cavity.

Signs of Dental Disease in Felines:


fa851318_7f00_0001_38a5_b8592cfedbe7.jpg1) Cats are frequently affected by tartar buildup on the teeth.  Tartar accumulation leads to irritation of the gums around the base of the teeth, ultimately leading to exposure of the roots. Potential outcomes of this tooth root exposure include gum infections and tooth loss.

2) The cat may have very bad breath (halitosis), may have difficulty eating or chewing, and may display a change in temperament

3) Infection within the mouth will be picked up by the blood stream and carried to other parts of the body. Kidney infections, as well as infections involving the heart valves, frequently begin in the mouth.


What is involved in cleaning my pet's teeth?

Proper cleaning of the teeth requires complete cooperation of the patient so plaque and tartar can be removed properly. Anesthesia is required to thoroughly clean the teeth. Although anesthesia always carries a degree of risk, the modern anesthetics in use in our hospital minimize this risk, even for older patients. Depending on your pet's age and general health status, blood will be analyzed prior to anesthesia to evaluate blood cell counts and organ functions.

There are three steps in the cleaning process that will be used on your pet:

1. Scaling removes the tartar above and below the gum line. This is done with hand instruments and ultrasonic cleaning equipment.

2. Polishing smoothes the surface of the teeth, making them resistant to additional plaque formation.

3. Flushing removes dislodged tartar from the teeth and helps to remove the bacteria that accompany tartar.


Before Dental Cleaning
After Dental Cleaning

What can you do at home to help promote good dental health for your pet?

"Chewing is good, rinsing is better, brushing is best"
  • CET Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews
  • Hill's Prescription T/D food
  • Greenies treats
  • OraVet Chews
  • Pet toothbrush and toothpaste

  • If a dental cleaning/prophylaxis has been recommended for your pet due to periodontal disease development. A treatment plan will be provided for routine care. If you schedule the dental cleaning appointment within three months of the doctor's recommendation then you receive $25 off the cleaning cost.



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