Good oral hygiene is important to your pet’s health. Tartar and plaque build up on your pet’s teeth and cause both minor and serious health problems. Aside from bad breath, your pet may develop gum recession, cavities, periodontitis, and loose teeth.
Research data has shown a clear link between dental disease and many common health problems such as heart, liver, lung, and kidney disease. During a physical examination, our veterinarians can recommend a dental program suited to your pet’s needs.
Just like human teeth, pet teeth accumulate plaque and tartar. Without appropriate dental care throughout the life of your pet, periodontal disease develops, leading to severe gingivitis and ultimately tooth loss; it affects over 80% of pets over the age of two.
Preventative dental cleanings, under anesthesia, are recommended at regular intervals to preserve oral health. Between cleanings, daily (or at least twice weekly) tooth brushing is recommended for dogs and cats.
A prophylactic cleaning involves:
- Pre-anesthetic workup, including physical examination and bloodwork
- Oral examination and probing
- Ultrasonic scaling to remove tartar from above the gumline
- Hand scaling to remove tartar from below the gumline
- Dental x-rays if needed
- Polishing to remove scratches created during the above process
Treatment of Periodontal Disease
When left untreated, periodontal disease progresses to a point where more advanced therapies are required. Our doctors are trained and equipped for the following procedures:
- Interpretation of dental x-rays
- Complete periodontal examination
- Extraction of teeth, both simple and surgical
- Open curettage (removal of tartar by surgically lifting up portions of the gums for better exposure)
- Guided tissue regeneration (attempted repair of large pockets with use of bone-regeneration materials and surgical repositioning of gum flaps)