As with humans, proper dental care is required for pets to enjoy optimum health. Healthy teeth and gums contribute to more than just fresh breath. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are vital components of preventative veterinary care here at Woodland Springs Veterinary Hospital. If it is left untreated, the build-up of tarter and plaque on your pet’s teeth can lead to periodontal disease, which can have adverse effects on your pet’s overall health. At Woodland Springs, we offer complete veterinary dental care procedures including routine cleanings, exams and tooth extractions.
Why Your Pet Needs Regular Cleanings
Regular dental cleanings will prevent the build-up of bacteria and plaque on your pet’s teeth, which will in turn help offset the development of periodontal disease. This dental disease is very common in pets. In fact, more than 80% of dogs and cats have this problem by the time they are four years old. If periodontal disease is left untreated, it can cause bacteria from the mouth to spread into the bloodstream and cause damage to the heart, kidneys, liver and other organs. Your pet may have this affliction if you notice the following signs:
- Discomfort while chewing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Excessive drooling
- Bad breath
- Inflamed or bleeding gums
If you notice the warning signs of periodontal disease, the safest and most effective way to remove plaque and tarter from your pet’s teeth is to have our dental staff administer a professional dental cleaning. For your pet’s comfort and safety, this procedure requires him or her to undergo a general anesthetic and, consequently, a day’s hospitalization.
We begin each dental procedure with a physical exam to help us identify any potential health risks that could complicate the administration of anesthesia. Once we give your pet the aesthetic, we begin the procedure by removing tarter from the teeth using a hand scaler. Then we use a periodontal probe to check for pockets under the gum line where periodontal disease and bad breath start. Next, we use an ultrasonic scaler to clean teeth above the gum line and a curette to clean and smooth the teeth under the gum line. Next, we polish your pet’s teeth for a resulting smooth surface. Finally, we wash the gums with an antibacterial solution that helps delay the build-up of tartar under the gum line and at the crown of the tooth.
Dental Care At Home
Even though we recommend that your pet receive a full, professional dental cleaning every six to 12 months, we encourage you to maintain your pet’s oral hygiene at home. We highly recommend including C.E.T. home dental products in your pet’s home dental care regimen, as they are easy to use and promote good oral hygiene. If you are unsure about how to brush your pet’s teeth, our staff would be happy to instruct you and address any questions or concerns you may have regarding your pet’s dental health.