Did you know that 85 percent of pets have periodontal disease by the time they reach three years of age? When pets have dental disease, it can result in bad breath, painful chewing, and even tooth loss. Worse, bacteria under the gums can travel to the heart, kidneys, and liver, causing other health issues. How can you prevent this? With regular teeth cleaning for your pets.
Periodontal disease occurs when bacteria and food particles combine, forming plaque on the teeth. Minerals in the saliva then bond with the plaque, forming a hard substance called tartar, which adheres to the teeth. Bacteria gets under the gum and causes inflammation, called gingivitis, then destroys the supporting tissue around the tooth.
The only way to remove tartar from your pet’s teeth is with a professional veterinary dental cleaning. During this cleaning, the pet is put under general anesthesia so that the vet can thoroughly inspect the mouth and remove tartar from under the gums. During the cleaning, the vet may:
- Remove visible plaque and tartar from the teeth
- Remove plaque and tartar from under the gum
- Probe the dental sockets to determine if there is dental disease
- Polish the enamel to remove scratches that can attract bacteria
- Take x-rays to look for problems below the gumline
- Apply fluoride or a dental sealer
- Remove or repair damaged teeth
- Perform dental charting to monitor the progression of dental disease
- Inspect the lips, tongue, and mouth for growths, wounds, or other issues.
There are steps you can take at home to keep your pet’s mouth clean, too. Daily brushing can help remove food particles from between the teeth. You can brush your pet’s teeth with a child’s toothbrush or a finger brush you can purchase specifically for your pet. Pet toothpaste is available in flavors appealing to dogs and cats, and there are dental diets and treats that can help control tartar. Your vet may also recommend a weekly plaque prevention product, that you can apply to your pet’s teeth and gums in order to create a barrier that keeps plaque from forming.
When your dog or cat needs a professional dental cleaning, you can trust Reed Animal Hospital to treat your pets as if they were our own. Our goal is to help you and your pet enjoy a healthy, fulfilling life together, and in pursuit of that goal, our extraordinary team offers a wide range of services. We’ve got veterinarians, technicians, assistants, and receptionists, all prepared to help you and your pet, and we even offer referrals to specialty surgeons, many of whom will travel to our office to consult with your pet. For more information or to make an appointment, call us in Campbell at 408. 369. 1788, or in Saratoga at 408.647.2906, or contact us through our website.