Dental care is one of the most important preventive health care treatments your pet can receive. Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital is committed to providing services and education for our clients to ensure that their pet has healthy teeth and gums. We closely adhere to the standards set by the American Veterinary Dental Society and are able to detect and treat a wide variety of dental health issues. Our doctors have advanced training and years of experience in treating and preventing dental problems. Our hospital is equipped with a state-of-the-art dental treatment area.
Periodontal disease (infection of the parts of the mouth that support the teeth) is the most common disease of dogs and cats, AND is the most undertreated disease of dogs and cats. It’s a part of the pet where most pet owners just don’t look. Bad breath may be the sign that many pet owners notice, but that can indicate advanced disease. Infections of the gums and teeth affect a pet’s comfort, overall health, and quality of life. Bacteria that thrive below the gum line can cause swelling, which can lead to the bacteria entering the blood stream and causing systemic illness in the pet.
Consequences of untreated dental infections include:
- Open fistulas (abnormal openings) between mouth and nasal sinuses
- Infections of the pulp canal (inner canal)
- Fractures of the jaw
- Eye problems
- Bone infections
- Increased occurrence of oral cancer
- Kidney disease
- Lung disease
- Heart disease
How can I find out if my pet’s teeth need attention?
Inspect your pet’s teeth by pulling back the lips. The teeth should be pearly white, and the gums should have a smooth pink appearance. If the teeth are discolored, have an odor, or if the gums are red or swollen, this can be a sign of infection. It is important to understand that even if the teeth appear normal, serious problems can still occur under the gums.
All of our clients are able to take advantage of a free oral exam at any time. We will examine the teeth and gum line to determine if the pet needs dental care and what kind of care would benefit the most.
What happens at an in-house dental cleaning appointment?
The only way to completely diagnose dental issues and determine the entire health of a pet’s mouth is to do so under anesthesia. It is impossible to adequately assess the condition of a pet’s tooth without probing below the gum line, where much of the disease will hide. X-rays of the tooth roots and supporting bone are essential so as not to miss disease.
With the pet under anesthesia, our veterinarians and technicians are able to remove the plaque buildup above and below the gum line. We examine the entire mouth and look for signs of periodontal disease, lesions, sores, signs of infection, and diseased teeth.
Why does your hospital use veterinary dental X-rays?
Every dental case requires full-mouth X-rays to completely assess the status of a pet’s teeth. At Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital, our doctors have participated in advanced training to take and interpret dental images. We use the X-rays to detect more serious dental issues and to track the progression of disease or decay to ensure we provide all pets with the best preventive and treatment options for their continued health.
What can I do at home to promote good pet dental health?
Each pet is different in their level of comfort, disposition, and needs for at-home dental care. The veterinarians of Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital will partner with you to determine the best preventive at-home care to offer. Some common at-home care options include:
- Regular brushing
- Oral tooth washes
- Drinking water additives
- Dental chews
- Dental toys
- Dental diets
Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital is committed to working with pet owners to provide excellent dental health options. Contact us if we can be of service to you.