February is Dental Health Month!
How will you know if your pet needs a dental exam and cleaning?
First, smell your pet’s breath! If you sense an unpleasant odor, your pet may have gum disease. Periodontal (gum) disease is the most common problem seen in dogs and cats. It starts with the accumulation of bacteria at the gum line. If it’s not brushed away, this plaque (bacteria) can cause damage to the gums and all the supporting tissue and bone around the teeth. Other signs you may notice are red swollen gums, tartar (yellow or brown accumulation on the tooth surface) or loose teeth. Advanced stages of periodontal disease affect other vital organs including heart, liver, and kidneys. Leading to pain and decreased longevity of our pets.
When you examine your pet’s mouth, look for chips or fractures on the surface of the teeth. Popular chew toys made of cow hooves, bones and other hard material can easily break teeth. Deep chips or fractures can lead to sensitivity, abscesses and pain.
If you find these problems or you don’t know what you are looking at, it’s time to visit us for a veterinary oral exam.
What happens when your pet comes for a dental procedure?
During the dental procedure, pets go under a full general anesthetic. We individualize and closely monitor each animal’s anesthesia to ensure their safety. We then fully examine, clean and polish all teeth. (Dogs have 42 teeth! And cats have 30!) Dental x-rays may be used to evaluate the teeth below the gum line and to help us find hidden disease. Once the procedure is complete, they wake up and rest in our treatment and recovery room. Pets always go home the same day!
Dogs and cats do not have to suffer with periodontal disease or broken teeth with the help of thorough examinations, x-rays and daily home care (brushing). This will improve their quality of life over their years.
Here are some examples of the dental procedures we have performed recently!