According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), dental disease, specifically periodontal disease, is the most common ailment affecting dogs and cats. They estimate that more than 80% of dogs, and 70% of cats develop gum disease by age three.
Plaque builds up on the tooth surface every day. If left in place, it mineralizes and hardens in less than 2 days, forming calculus or tarter. The buildup of plaque at the gum line will eventually cause periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease can have a serious impact on both your pet’s well-being and general health. It is a serious infection that can damage your pet’s teeth and gums, and cause infection and additional life threatening health problems systemically, including heart and kidney disease.
Symptoms that can indicate dental disease include:
- Discomfort while chewing or decreased appetite
- Difficulty swallowing
- Loose or missing teeth
- Red or swollen gums, pain or bleeding when gums are touched, pawing at mouth
- Yellow-brown crust of plaque on teeth near gum line
- Cracked, broken, or worn down teeth
Preventative dental care is an important part of your pet's wellness care. Our veterinarians will perform a preliminary dental examination during every examination. We use a grading system to evaluate the level of disease in your pet’s mouth. If our veterinarian finds any evidence of dental problems, he/she will discuss treatment with you.
If recommended, a comprehensive professional dental exam and cleaning will include:
- General anesthesia and patient monitoring
- Thorough cleaning via ultrasonic scaling and probing above and below gum line
- Polishing of teeth to delay tartar accumulation
- Flouride treatment and antibacterial flushing of the oral cavity
- Digital radiographs, extractions, and additional treatments may be performed if determined to be necessary by your pet’s veterinarian
Our standard digital x-ray unit can also be used to take photos of your pet’s teeth and gums during their dental exam. In addition to a comprehensive oral exam, digital x-rays can reveal dental diseases that are difficult to detect with an oral exam alone. Digital x-rays give us the ability to examine the anatomy of your pet's teeth, roots, gums, and surrounding bones. With this, our veterinarians can quickly spot and diagnose bone loss or hidden disease that may be present.
At-Home Pet Dental Care
Caring for your pet's teeth at home is an important preventive measure that ensures good oral hygiene. At your pet’s next exam, we can show you how to care for and brush your pet's teeth at home. Our staff can also provide you with recommendations for specialty pet foods and treats that promote good oral health. For more information about at-home dental care or our professional dental care services please call us at the phone number listed on this site.