Just like people, dogs and cats must practice oral hygiene in order to maintain good teeth and gum health. But they can’t do it without the help of their veterinarian and family.
Why Dental Care Is So Important for Pets
Without proper care, plaque builds up on pets’ teeth and hardens into a substance called tartar. Tartar sticks to the teeth along the gum line, creating pockets between the teeth and gums where harmful bacteria thrive. This overgrowth (infection) of bacteria is called periodontal disease (gum disease). If left unaddressed, periodontal disease will not only cause your pet pain and discomfort, it can also lead to tooth loss, damage of vital organs and even death.
Pet Dentistry Services Available at Old Orchard Animal Clinic
We offer a comprehensive list of pet dentistry services both to maintain the health of your pet’s teeth and to address oral health problems, such as cavities, abscesses and broken teeth.
- Dental exams
- Cleaning and scaling
- Tooth extractions
- Oral surgery
For the comfort and safety of pets, all of our dental procedures are performed under general anesthesia. Prior to the procedure, our veterinarian will perform a complete physical evaluation of your pet and run any necessary lab tests to ensure your cat or dog is healthy enough for anesthesia.
When Does Your Pet Need a Dental Exam?
A routine dental exam is part of every wellness appointment at Old Orchard Animal Clinic. At this time, our veterinarian will visually inspect your pet’s teeth and gums to determine if further care is needed. You should schedule your pet for a dental appointment, separate from his or her wellness exam, if you notice any of the following signs and symptoms:
- Persistent bad breath
- Bleeding or inflamed gums
- Loose teeth
- Loss of appetite or discomfort eating and drinking
- Mouth pain or discomfort (difficulty picking up toys or frequently dropping items)
How to Care for Your Pet’s Teeth Between Pet Dentistry Appointments
You can make a few adjustments at home to help maintain your pet’s oral health in between veterinary appointments. Consider purchasing dental-friendly chew toys and treats. You can also brush your cat or dog’s teeth at home with a specially designed toothbrush and pet-safe toothpaste. In addition, our veterinarian might recommend a specially formulated kibble to help reduce plaque and tartar build up in your pet’s mouth.
For more information about Old Orchard Animal Hospital’s pet dentistry services or to book a dental appointment for your cat or dog, we welcome you to contact our office today.