The Need for Regular Pet Dental Care

Pet dental care by a veterinarian, as well as at home, contributes to overall pet health. We all know how important regular dental care is for ourselves and our children. We brush twice a day, floss and see our dentist annually for checkups and professional cleaning. But what if we told you that regular pet dental care is just as important?

It’s true! If you imagine what it would feel like to never brush your teeth or see a dentist, you begin to get the picture. Taking good care of your pet’s oral health is of vital importance. Animal Medical Hospital shows you why!

A Common Problem

Dental disease in pets is extremely common. Studies show that by the time our pets reach 4 years of age, 85% of them have some form of dental disease. But many of us don’t realize this problem exists, until dental disease is advanced. Most pet owners don’t regularly look into their pets’ mouths, and pets are masters at hiding their pain and discomfort, making it even more difficult to know when there’s a problem.

That’s why pet dental care year round, including dental exams and cleanings, is so important. Preventive dental care can help us find and treat small problems before they become big, painful issues for your pet. And dental disease is painful. It’s not only about bad breath (although that’s often one of the first things we notice).

Common signs of dental disease include drooling, swollen, red, and bleeding gums, tartar, and even chewing on one side of the mouth to avoid pain.

The Underlying Causes

Bacteria are the main culprit in dental disease. Bacteria stick to the teeth and gums, and form plaque and tartar quickly. The bacteria that collects on this dental calculus, if left undisturbed, migrate below the gumline and cause gingivitis, and then periodontitis. This infection below the gumline eventually affects the tooth and its underlying structures, including the root and the bone beneath. Painful tooth loss is the result.

But that’s not all; those bacteria don’t stay in the mouth. They are swallowed on a regular basis, and studies show that organ damage of the heart, liver, and kidneys can all result from dental disease.

Pet Dental Care Year Round

Luckily, pet dental disease is preventable and can be controlled with judicious care. Here’s how:

Schedule an veterinary dental exam – You guessed it! The importance of regular exams cannot be overstated, whether your pet seems healthy or not. During this preventive care exam, we’ll perform a dental exam and show you inside your pet’s mouth. We will talk about what we find there, and a professional cleaning may be recommended.

Professional veterinary dental cleanings – Because we can’t get a full picture of your pet’s oral health without anesthesia, the exam must include it. With our skilled veterinary technicians and advanced monitoring equipment, anesthesia for pets has never been safer. Digital dental x-rays help us learn what’s happening under the gumline, and your pet’s teeth will be thoroughly cleaned and polished. If we find anything of concern, including diseased teeth or other serious dental conditions, you’ll be contacted immediately.

At home pet dental care – Once your pet’s teeth are cleaned, you can help keep their mouth healthy until the next cleaning. We’ll talk about a plan for your individual pet, including at home tooth brushing (it’s easier than you think!) and dental chews.  A specially formulated dental diet may be of benefit as well.

By working together, we can tailor pet dental care to your pet, so that they will truly be happier and healthier. Call us today to schedule your pet’s dental exam and let’s get it underway!