These days, dogs and cats have it pretty good! Most are considered members of the family, and we do our best to keep them healthy and provide them with a wonderful life. Quality nutrition, vaccinations, parasite prevention, and, of course, snuggles are the norm when it comes to taking care of modern pets. But what about dental care?
According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, over 70% of cats and 80% of dogs will have gum disease by the time they’re three years old. Untreated dental disease is not only painful for pets, but it can also be a source of serious health problems down the road. That’s why regular pet teeth cleanings are the cornerstone of good oral hygiene.
Cause for Concern
That doggy or kitty breath you’ve come to know (and probably not love) is one of the many signs that your pet may be suffering from dental disease. The following symptoms are also indicators your pet may be suffering from periodontal disease:
- Excessive drooling (especially in cats)
- Broken, worn, or discolored teeth
- Swollen or inflamed gums
- Loose teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Pawing at the mouth
- Swelling of the muzzle
- Difficulty eating or loss of appetite
Our Role in Pet Teeth Cleanings
Even though we brush our teeth every day, we still need to visit the dentist for biannual cleanings. Pets also require regular professional dental exams and cleanings (along with daily brushing and home care). Keep in mind, pet dental exams and cleanings require the use of general anesthesia in order to thoroughly assess and clean the oral cavity.
In many cases, pets with dental disease don’t show any obvious signs of trouble. In part, this is due to the fact that pets have evolved to hide signs of illness or injury. Also, most dental disease occurs below the gumline. During a dental assessment, a physical exam is performed and x-rays are taken to determine the condition of the roots and jawbone.
After this initial assessment, the teeth are carefully scaled above and below the gumline to remove plaque and tartar. The teeth can then be polished and given a flouride treatment. Any extractions or other recommended treatments can also be performed.
We’re committed to the health and wellbeing of all pets! Please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital to schedule a wellness or dental exam for your furry loved one.