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Everything You Need to Know About Pet Dental Care

Everything You Need to Know About Pet Dental Care

Gum disease and tooth decay are just as common in pets as they are in humans. Today, our Clarksville vets explain the importance of dental care in pets and how to care for their oral health.

Pet Dental Care

Your pet's oral health is an important part of their overall well-being. By three, pets frequently show signs of periodontal disease (gum disease). This early onset of dental disease can have serious consequences for their long-term health.

Studies in humans have found a link between periodontal disease and heart disease, and this appears to be true for our pets as well.

The link between heart disease and periodontal disease is caused by bacteria entering the bloodstream from the mouth, damaging heart function and causing problems with other organs. These health issues are, in addition, to the more obvious problem of pain caused by eroded gums and missing or damaged teeth.

At-home oral health care routines combined with dental treats can go a long way toward assisting your pet in keeping their teeth clean and controlling plaque and tartar buildup. Nonetheless, the best way to keep your pet's mouth clean and healthy is to take him to the vet for an annual dental exam and hygiene cleaning.

Neglecting annual dental cleaning could put your pet at risk of developing gingivitis, periodontal disease, bad breath, and in severe cases pain, tooth decay, and tooth loss.

Professional Dental Cleaning Appointments

To help prevent your pet from developing tooth decay and periodontal disease, our Clarksville vets recommend bringing your pet in for a dental appointment at least once a year, or more frequently if they are suffering from more severe or recurring dental problems.

When you bring your cat or dog to Sango Veterinary Hospital for a dental checkup our vets will perform a full oral examination for your pooch and check for signs of dental issues, such as:

  • Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
  • Bleeding around the mouth
  • Swelling or pain in or around the mouth
  • Plaque or tartar buildup on teeth
  • Discolored teeth
  • Loose or
  • Broken teeth
  • Bad breath

If you notice signs of periodontal disease in your pet, such as decreased appetite (which can be an indication of tooth pain), abnormal chewing, drooling, dropping food from the mouth, bad breath, or other symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately to schedule a dental appointment. If left untreated, oral health problems can become severe, causing your pet a great deal of pain and discomfort.

After your pet has been safely sedated, your veterinarian will perform a full tooth-by-tooth examination, including charting (just like your dentist does during your examinations).

We will thoroughly clean and polish your pet's teeth, both above and below the gum line, while it is safely and comfortably sedated. We probe and x-ray the teeth, then use a fluoride treatment to help protect against future decay and damage before applying a dental sealant to prevent plaque buildup.

If your pet is suffering from advanced periodontal disease, we will work with you to develop a treatment plan to help restore your pet's mouth to a pain-free and healthy state.

Cleaning Your Pet's Teeth at Home

You may ask yourself, "should I brush my pet's teeth?" And the short answer is yes, you should.

You, as a pet owner, play a critical role in assisting your pet in combating dental disease. Here are a few simple ways you can help keep your pet's mouth healthy and clean his teeth:

  • Use a finger brush from your vet, or a child’s toothbrush to brush your pet’s teeth daily to remove any plaque or debris. It's as simple as brushing your own teeth. If your pet resists having its teeth cleaned try some pet toothpaste in flavors your pooch will find irresistible. These special pet-friendly kinds of toothpaste can turn a chore into a treat.
  • Use a plaque prevention product (your vet can recommend some), which you can apply to your pet’s teeth and gums. These products act as a barrier to prevent plaque buildup.
  • Offer your pet treats such as dental chews or food designed to help prevent plaque buildup and tartar.

Dental care is an important part of your pet's overall health. Be sure to book your pet's annual dental appointment today, your pet will thank you. 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your cat or dog due for a professional dental cleaning and examination? Contact our Clarksville vets today to book your pet an appointment.

New Patients Welcome

Sango Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Clarksville companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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