pets need a healthy mouth and sound teeth, we sometimes let our pet's
oral and dental care slip. Poor oral hygiene can be the source of bad
breath, gum disease and organ damage. Not only can this cause animals
constant pain, it can actually shorten their lives. Taking care of your
pet's teeth means more than pleasant breath; it is a basic part of our
you know that by age three, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of
oral disease according to the American Veterinary Dental
Bacteria, combined with saliva and food debris, can cause plaque to
form which accumulates on the teeth, and between the teeth and the
gums. As the bacteria grow and multiply in the plaque, and as calcium
salts are deposited on the teeth, plaque turns into tartar. Tartar is
hard, and has a roughened surface, which enhances bacterial attachment
and further plaque development. Tartar also irritates surrounding
gingival tissues. This process can lead to the development of
significant periodontal disease in dogs and cats.
Periodontal disease is the #1 health problem diagnosed in pets over
three years of age. If left untreated, that can mean pain, bad breath
and tooth loss for your pet. Chronic infection in the oral cavity can
spread harmful bacteria to the bloodstream and cause heart disease,
liver disease, kidney disease, respiratory disease, and a weakened
immune system. Good oral health and proper dental care can extend a
pet's life expectancy and reduce the risk of serious, sometimes
life-threatening secondary health conditions.
Red, inflamed gums
Yellow-brown tartar deposits
Loose or missing teeth
Difficulty or pain while eating
Loss of appetite
Occasionally it will be necessary to remove plaque and calculus (tartar) buildup professionally with a dental cleaning under anesthesia. Anesthesia is always a concern for pet owners, but we will tailor our anesthesia protocol to your individual pet based on age and general health status. As a safeguard, we will check pre-anesthetic bloodwork, provide intravenous fluids during the procedure, and use state of the art monitoring equipment including pulse oximetry while your pet is under anesthesia. Most of our patients are able to go home the same day of the dental cleaning.
A dental cleaning begins with a thorough oral examination looking for any obvious broken or chipped teeth, dental abscesses, oral masses, etc. Digital x-rays of the teeth are taken to evaluate the tooth and root structure. Hand scaling is done to remove large calculus deposits and periodontal probing will aid in the diagnosis of deep pockets around individual teeth. The teeth are then cleaned using an ultrasonic scaler both above and below the gum line. Any diseased or broken teeth are removed. Finally the teeth are polished with a special veterinary toothpaste and a fluoride rinse is applied.
Plaque begins to accumulate rapidly following a professional scaling and polishing. Bad breath and other periodontal problems will return if home care is not instituted. We have available the following products to help you care for your pet's dental health at home.
CET Oral Hygiene Kit including a dual ended toothbrush, a finger brush and toothpaste for both dogs and cats
CET Oral Hygiene Rinse or Gel
CET Dental Chews
Hill's t/d food - this food works great as treats for your dog or cat!
Oravet Plaque Prevention Gel
For your dogs and cats, good
oral care means better health and longer lives. Find out more about pet
dental health by looking at these websites: