Studies show that 50% of all dogs and cats have some form of periodontal disease. That number increases to 80% in pets that are 3 years of age or older. If left untreated, periodontal disease can cause infection (often noticed as “bad breath”), pain, and tooth loss over time. It can also lead to serious health problems like microscopic changes in the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys. Because of this, we recommend an annual veterinary dental examination for all pets. This examination will allow us to determine what your pet’s current dental health is and what steps should be taken to ensure a good quality of life.
Why do pets need dental care?
Many health problems start in the mouth. Plaque, tartar, periodontal disease, and infected teeth serve as a source of inflammation and infection for the rest of the body.
Dental disease is one of the most common problems that we see in dogs and cats. It can cause drooling, reluctance to eat, pain, swelling, bad breath, redness of the gums, loose teeth, and tooth discoloration.
When should I seek dental care for my pet?
Dental issues and dental-related diseases can easily be prevented by visiting our veterinarians regularly for dental examinations and cleanings. We take a comprehensive approach to dental care including dental health assessment, treatment, and prevention.
Teeth Exams, Cleaning, and Polishing
Dog and cat dental cleanings are very similar to human dental cleanings, except that we are required to use anesthesia to safely and properly examine and clean the teeth. After the cleaning, our veterinarians perform a thorough oral exam and check for signs of disease like gingivitis, gum loss, root exposure, or periodontal pockets around the root where food particles can get trapped which can lead to infection.
Also similar to human dentistry, we do full-mouth radiographs (x-rays) of your pet at every dental cleaning. This step is very important, as teeth are like icebergs -- we only see what is above the surface, so we need the x-rays to show us what is below the gum line, which is where the most dental disease occurs. The x-rays allow us to be able to evaluate the roots of your pet's teeth as well as any disease or abnormalities that are located below the gum line (i.e. at the level of the bone)which is not visible on examination alone.
We make every effort to save teeth that we feel have a chance to be successfully treated. In many circumstances, however, periodontal disease is so advanced that treatment without extraction is unsuccessful. We only extract teeth that in the doctor's opinion are beyond saving, and as such can be a source of pain and discomfort for your pet.
Minor Oral Surgery
Many teeth require oral surgery to safely remove each individual root. We have extensive training and experience to perform these procedures properly. Pain medications are administered in the clinic and are also provided for in-home aftercare.
Book an Appointment (281) 800-9003