Dental and oral health is very important in keeping your pet healthy. Did you know that your pet’s dental health can harm other organs in the body such as the heart and kidneys? Good dental hygiene is just as important for pets as it is for us.
Look For These Common Dental Problems:
- Bad breath
- Broken or loose teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Pain in or around the mouth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth
Paws to consider: 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of periodontal disease by the age of three!
Regular Teeth Brushing is the Best Prevention
Brushing your pet’s teeth everyday is the most effective way to prevent and help remove tartar and calculus build up to keep teeth healthy in between dental cleanings. According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) the best way to brush your pets teeth is to use a brush or wrap your finger in gauze and hold it at a 45-degree angle to the teeth. Using small, circular motions, work in one area of the mouth at a time. Be sure to lift the lip if necessary to reach the teeth. Since the most tartar builds up on the tooth surfaces that touch the cheek, concentrate there and finish up with a downward stroke on the teeth to remove tartar. Your pet may not let you clean the backside of its teeth, but don’t worry about it because very little tartar builds up there.
Paws to consider: If brushing is not an option you can use alternatives such as chews and wipes. At VCPI we offer a product called Entero, which is a probiotic that supports gastrointestinal and oral health from the inside out.
Get Regular Oral Exams and Dental Cleanings
Your pet’s teeth should be checked at least twice a year by your veterinarian to look for early signs of dental disease. It is also recommended to get your pets teeth cleaned annually. A dental cleaning under anesthesia allows your vet to thoroughly examine the teeth and gums as well as effectively clean and polish the teeth. Most veterinarians will also take full dental x-rays to look at the roots and underlying bone in the jaw. Anesthesia makes it possible to perform the dental procedures with less stress and pain for your pet and allows for a more effective cleaning.
Paws to consider: The American Veterinary Dental College does not recommend dental cleanings without anesthesia because they do not allow cleaning or inspection below the gumline, where most dental disease occurs, and can result in injury to the pet or the person performing the procedure.
At Veterinary Center of Parker, we offer safe and thorough dental cleanings that include an extensive oral examination, dental radiographs on all patients to diagnose any underlying disease beneath the gums, as well as the scaling and polishing.
To schedule an exam and discuss your pet’s oral health give us a call at 720-851-0820.