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Dental Health Month

Jan 13, 2016

February is Dental Health Month!

We recommend annual dental cleanings to prevent dental disease and help prolong the health of your pet’s mouth. What better way to start the New Year than getting your pets mouth in top condition!

What is Periodontal Disease and how can it be treated?

Periodontal Disease is the most common dental condition in dogs and cats. It is easily detected and treatable. Periodontal disease is graded on a scale of 0 (normal) to 4 (severe).

Signs of poor dental health are as follows:

  • bad breath
  • broken or loose teeth
  • teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
  • abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
  • reduced appetite or refusal to eat
  • pain in or around the mouth
  • bleeding from the mouth
  • swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth

A lot of dental conditions are painful and need immediate attention. Studies have shown that advanced periodontal disease can be linked to heart, liver and kidney problems. If you suspect your pet has any of the above problems, call our office for a dental examination and recommendation for their individualized dental care.

What is a dental cleaning?

We offer dental cleanings as an outpatient procedure; you will drop your pet off in the morning and be able to pick them up in the early afternoon. Your pet will be fully anesthetized and closely monitored by a veterinarian and one of our highly trained veterinary assistants while they get their teeth cleaned. Much like when you go to the dentist, we will scale the teeth using an ultrasonic scaler which removes hardened plaque and tartar; we will polish the teeth and perform a fluoride treatment on the teeth to help protect the enamel. We may also take dental radiographs (x-rays) to help us visualize what the teeth look like below the gum line, where a lot of painful dental conditions can originate.

Benefits of yearly cleanings:·

  • Better smelling breath
  • Better attitude
  • Healthier gums
  • Slows progression of disease
  • Fewer lost teeth

Some pets may require extractions when their teeth are loose or the gums are receding and exposing the roots of the tooth. If we suspect your pet will need extractions, we will provide you with an estimate before you drop your pet off with us and discuss what to expect with tooth extractions.

What can I do at home to keep my pets teeth healthy?

We recommend brushing your pets teeth on a daily basis. There are different ways to make brushing teeth almost like a game. Start off with a washcloth and veterinary approved dog or cat toothpaste, the toothpaste can even be done in the place of a treat. You can eventually work up to finger brushes and toothbrushes. Dogs and cats cannot have anything that contains fluoride so it is very important to get your toothpaste from your veterinarian or local pet store.

There are also dental treats and chews that can have some effect on oral health; however, brushing teeth is the number one most preventable measure that can be taken. Be sure to look on the package for the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seal indicating that research shows the product can have some preventative effect.

Call our office today to schedule your pets dental exam and dental cleaning today!



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