Putting Off Your Pet's Dental Cleaning? DON'T!
When it comes to a pet’s health, dental care is usually not the first thing that comes to mind for most people. Why? Many pet parents just assume their pet’s teeth don’t need cleaning. After all, they never seem to complain. And that bad breath? Well, most people just think that’s normal.
If this sounds familiar, please keep reading. Your pet will thank you later!
It Starts with Bad Breath
Think of a pet’s mouth as the gateway to their overall health. From the things they eat (or shouldn’t have eaten), your pet’s mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria. Without regular brushing, as humans do, they develop bad breath due to the living, growing bacteria that enters their mouth. Over time, these dangerous bacteria will cause tartar and plaque buildup, eventually leading to tooth decay, gum infections, and all types of periodontal diseases.
Bad breath is a pet’s way of telling you their health could be at risk. The longer the bacteria live and grow in the mouth, the more chance it can enter the bloodstream, making them susceptible to several illnesses - such as liver disease, heart disease, and kidney failure.
Think of your pet’s bad breath as a way of them telling you they need a good dental cleaning.
Periodontal disease is very painful for pets. Inflamed sore gums and loose teeth make it difficult for your pet to eat. If they develop abscesses and infections, chronic long-term pain will follow. If you notice your pet becomes head shy, avoiding your touch to their face or mouth, this could be a sign of pain in the gums or teeth. If this happens, we recommend you make an appointment to have your pet examined.
Other Signs To Know
Here are some other signs that might signal your pet needs a dental cleaning.
- Discolored teeth
- Receding and/or bleeding gums
- Loose or missing teeth
- Poor appetite
Your vet will examine your pet’s mouth during every checkup. Based on what they find, they may recommend that you schedule a dental cleaning.
What Does A Cleaning Involve?
During this safe and painless procedure, we remove plaque and tartar build-up from your pet’s teeth while they are under general anesthesia. This keeps the pet still and pain-free while we conduct a thorough inspection that includes the following:
- Removal of visible plaque and tartar from the teeth
- Elimination of plaque and tartar from under the gum
- Probing of dental sockets to assess dental disease
- Polishing to smooth enamel scratches that may attract bacteria
- Application of fluoride or a dental sealer
- Removal or repair of fractured or infected teeth
- Dental charting so the progression of dental disease can be monitored over time
- Inspection of the lips, tongue, and entire mouth for growths, wounds, or other problems
If you suspect your pet is having dental problems or their breath smells pretty bad, call the clinic to schedule your pet’s cleaning. In recognition of Pet Dental Health Month, all dental cleanings are 20% off!
Keep your pet happy, healthy, and smiling big with a professional dental cleaning this month!
Julie Grimes, DVM