Pet Dental Care...Important to Your Pet's Good Health

Pets deserve a mouth that is free of pain! Pets are not able to tell us when they need help. Because pets need to eat to live, they will eat even when it may hurt to chew.

Did you know that over 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of gum disease, and your pet's bad breath can be one early warning signal. Although our veterinarians are trained to detect problems early, it is not possible to do a complete oral exam while a pet is awake. That's why it is important that your pet have a comprehensive oral exam and cleaning at least once a year.

Plaque is forming constantly on the teeth at the gum line and can be removed mechanically by brushing and chewing on appropriate articles. If not removed, minerals from the saliva turn the plaque into tartar and, if allowed to continue, your pet will develop periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is not reversible and we try our best to prevent it from happening. It used to be that owners and even some veterinarians did not think that getting their pet's teeth cleaned was warranted unless there was visible tartar and gum disease present. That is no longer the case.

Periodontal disease causes tooth support loss and infection that can then enter your pet's bloodstream, invading the heart, lungs and kidneys. Even pets whose teeth appear clean on oral exam can have periodontal disease between teeth and bellow the gum line. Radiographs are very important to detect these hidden infections, save teeth and keep your pet healthy.

These signs of periodontal disease may not always be apparent but when seen require immediate attention:

constant bad breath
broken, loose or loss of teeth
swollen, red or bleeding gums
yellow/brown-colored teeth
pus between gums teeth
receding gums
unwillingness to drink cold water or play with chew toys