Pets need dental care too! By 3 years of age, most pets have evidence of dental disease. Plaque and tartar accumulate on the teeth including below the gum line. This tartar below the gumline can cause tooth root decay, abscess, and bacterial infection in the bloodstream. Dental disease is painful and can lead to disease of the heart, kidneys, and liver.
Signs of dental disease includes bad breath, discolored teeth, loose teeth, drooling, dropping food, bleeding from mouth, loss of appetite or weight loss. A professional dental cleaning includes a complete physical exam, anesthesia, complete oral exam, scaling the surface of the teeth above and below the gum line, full mouth dental radiographs, and polishing of the teeth.
Dental radiographs are necessary to view the internal anatomy of the tooth, the tooth roots, and the bone surrounding the teeth. Dental radiographs are essential to determine if a tooth needs extraction due to disease of the tooth, root, or bone.
At home dental care is the best way to help maintain good oral health. At home care options include daily tooth brushing with enzymatic toothpaste, daily dental chews (greenies, CET chews, , and tartar shield), healthy mouth water additive, chlorhexidine oral rinses, and dental diets (Hill’s Science Diet TD diet). Use products approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC seal of approval). We do not recommend use of rawhide chews, cow hooves, hard nylon bones, or other natural hard bones. These products are too hard and can cause broken teeth and damaged gums.