All pets are at risk for Dental Disease. Dental Disease affects up to 80% of pets over the age of three.
Bad breath is often the first indicator of Dental Disease. To check for other indicators, gently lift your pet’s lips and check for tartar, inflamed gums, and/or missing or broken teeth. All may be signs that Dental Disease is affecting your pet. Cats, in addition to the previous symptoms listed, may also exhibit increased drooling and a failure to groom. Both cats and dogs may exhibit reluctance to eat or play with toys. “Chattering” of teeth when trying to eat, lethargy, bleeding gums, and/or eroded teeth can also indicate Dental Disease.
Dental Disease progresses in stages. If caught early, treatment can prevent further damage to your pet’s gums and teeth. Infected gums and teeth do not only affect your pet’s mouth. They can also affect the heart, kidneys, intestinal tract, and joints. Any infected areas of the mouth that contain a multitude of bacteria can “seed” to other parts of the body.
Dental Cleaning Procedure
With regular dental care, you can prevent some of these serious side effects. Pre-dental blood work is always recommended with this procedure. This is a check on the overall health of your pet to make sure that liver, kidneys, and blood counts are within normal ranges. Prior to anesthesia, your pet will be fasted beginning at 10pm the night before.
Your pet’s dental procedure will be similar to the procedure used for a human dental cleaning. The procedure begins with full-mouth digital radiographs, then the doctor and dental technician begin tartar removals and check for:
Gingival (gum) pockets
Any growths on the gums or palate
The next step is the removal of any diseased teeth. The procedure is finished with a thorough polishing. Polishing smooths teeth after tartar removal as the tartar pits the tooth. A smooth tooth will not encourage tartar formation as easily as a roughened tooth. This boosts the longevity of your pet’s dental cleaning.
Home Dental Care
After your pet’s dental treatment is complete, you will receive a dental report complete with before-and-after photographs detailing the findings and treatments performed. Medications and home-care instructions are also included with your packet, to ensure you leave well-informed with the details of your pet’s procedure.