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Did you know that your pets need dental care too? Starting at the age of three years old, your pet can begin to show signs of periodontal disease, which is inflammation and infection of the gums. This is the reason your pet receives a version of a dental exam during each visit! As plaque and bacteria build up on the teeth, you can begin to see recession of the gingiva, strong odors, bleeding, and even loosening of the teeth. As the disease progresses, other organ systems, such as the heart and kidneys, can be affected by the spread of the bacteria.
The most important diagnostic tool that is used for evaluating a dental disorder is a thorough exam. If symptoms or signs of a dental disorder are noted on the general exam, it may be recommended to have a sedated oral exam to further investigate the concern. The teeth can then be probed to check for abscesses, cavities, fractures, root damage, root exposure, loosening of the teeth, and other damage. Dental radiographs may be needed to evaluate the root structures further. Bloodwork and biopsies may also be warranted in case of oral masses or lesions.
The best treatment and prevention of dental disorders is routine dental cleanings. During the cleaning, your pet is placed under general anesthesia and the tartar is removed from the teeth using an ultrasonic scaler. The teeth are then evaluated for damage and removed as needed. Following the cleaning, the teeth are brushed and polished. If infection or abscess are identified, antibiotics may be warranted. Anti-inflammatories may also be prescribed to help with pain and inflammation following extractions and cleanings.
We offer several options to help improved you pet's dental health between cleanings.
Example: Toothpaste, dental wipes, oral flushes, and water additives are all available.
Good dental care is crucial in the well-being of your pet. Call us today for more information on the most common medical disorder seen in pets and to schedule your pets cleaning!