The significance of oral hygiene is fundamental in the health of a patient.
– An estimated 80% of all pets have dental disease by the age of three. The mouth of cats and dogs is a great incubator for bacteria and can contribute to heart, liver and kidney disease.
What are the clinical signs of dental disease?
– Bad breath, loose teeth, and sore and inflamed gums.
What can I do to minimize dental disease?
– Preventative dental care (dental cleanings) are key in supporting a clean, healthy mouth and body.
– Brush or wipe regularly. Use a toothpaste designed for dogs and cats (C.E.T toothpaste) at least a couple of times a week. It is important not to use a toothpaste made for people. Pet toothpastes contain enzymes that help dissolve plaque and can be swallowed and are good tasting.
– Use a toothbrush made for pets. You can also use a finger or a fingertip brush.
– Use specifically labeled teeth-cleaning toys.
– Provide teeth-cleaning diets like Hills t/d and Royal Canin. These diets contain a mild abrasive texture with ingredients that minimize plaque formation.
What does a dental cleaning involve?
– General anesthesia is required.
– Pre-operative blood work is performed to evaluate the patients general health and determine if they are good candidate for the procedure.
– During the procedure the patients vitals are monitored closely (heart rate, respiratory rate, ECG, blood pressure, temperature).
– Intravenous fluids are administered to help maintain blood pressure, hydration and assist in recovery.
The dental itself:
– Visible dental calculus (tartar) is removed from the teeth and from the gum line with an ultrasonic scaler.
– Periodontal sockets are probed and measured to assess periodontal disease.
– The roots are planed (tartar is scraped from below the gum line) until the roots are smooth again.
– The enamel is polished to remove any unevenness left by tartar removal.
– The mouth is disinfected and possibly treated with a fluoride sealer or plaque repellent.
– A complete dental chart is completed, noting abnormalities on each of the dog’s 42 teeth or the cat’s 30 teeth.
We are here to help!
It’s important to know that there are multiple stages of periodontal disease. Without a proper veterinary dental exam and cleaning, there is no way to know if your pet’s oral health is at risk. If you are concerned your pet has signs of dental disease, please contact the clinic and we will be happy to address any questions you may have.