Dental disease in your pet is one of the most common diseases seen, with 75% of cats and dogs
affected by 3 years of age.
Signs of Dental Disease in Your Pet:
- Bad breath.
- Loose teeth or teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar.
- Your pet shies away from you when you touch the mouth area.
- Drooling or dropping food from the mouth.
- Bleeding from the mouth.
- Loss of appetite or loss of weight (this combination can result from diseases of many organs, and early veterinary examination is important).
A regular, professional pet dental cleaning is important to help maintain your pet’s dental and overall health. Dental care includes health of the teeth, gums, underlying bone and soft tissues of the oral cavity. Dental disease results from a build-up of bacteria, plaque and tartar on teeth that spreads under the gums and can cause loss of teeth, gums and underlying bone. Also, studies have shown that this bacteria can cause microscopic changes in the kidneys, heart and liver2. A comprehensive dental prophylaxis and assessment at Adams Farm Animal Hospital is a procedure involving many steps:
- Pre-anesthetic examination and blood tests to assess patient risk
- IV catheter placement and fluid administration for safety
- Anesthetic induction and monitoring using modern techniques, drugs and equipment
- Careful maintenance and monitoring of the patient before, during and after anesthesia
- Ultrasonic scaling and polishing of each tooth above and below the gumline
- Assessment of entire oral cavity including lips, gums, tongue, all tooth surfaces, tooth mobility, subgingival calculus (tartar below the gum line) and periodontal pockets
- Digital radiology of the teeth and underlying bone. (see more about dental radiology)
- Extraction of any unhealthy teeth
- Pain and stress control
Dental procedures at Adams Farm Animal Hospital are always performed under anesthesia. This enables the veterinarian to provide the most thorough and humane oral care possible and to ensure that no dental problems are overlooked.
Since large amounts of bacteria can be dislodged from the teeth during dental procedures, antibiotics may be sent home to help prevent infection. Home dental care such as teeth brushing, mouth washes, gels, and special chews may also be recommended to reduce plaque formation. Brushing your pet’s teeth daily with pet-friendly toothpaste, such as C.E.T.® or Enzadent® Enzymatic toothpaste is highly recommended to help maintain a healthy mouth in your pet. There are many home-care products available over the counter, but we recommend those endorsed by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC®).
Schedule your pet’s comprehensive dental prophylaxis and assessment today!
(Products endorsed with the VOHC® seal can be found here: http://www.vohc.org/accepted_products.htm.)
1 American Veterinary Dental Society; http://avds-online.org/newweb/blog.php?BlogID=87; accessed 5/5/15
2 American Veterinary Dental Society; http://www.avdc.org/periodontaldisease.html; accessed 5/5/15