Pets need their teeth taken care of just like we do. Dental and oral (mouth) health is an important part of overall health. Signs of abnormal dental health include bad breath, plaque build-up, gum swelling or redness, loose teeth, tooth discoloration and swelling on the nose or jaw. You may also see that your pet drops a lot of food when eating, acts older than they are, or may be grumpier than they used to be.
Because of the high level of bacteria in dental disease, prolonged dental problems may be causing serious conditions such as liver, heart, and kidney disease. Dental disease is the most common disease in dogs and cats in the United States, and preventing or treating early signs is the best medicine. On your yearly examination, we will evaluate your petís mouth. Please let us know if you have seen any of the signs listed above so that we can discuss the recommended dental treatment for your pet.
We are excited to offer a variety of dental packages that are sure to fit the dental needs of your pet and your budget. Call us today at (602) 845-5930 to schedule a free "flip the lip" exam
There are a couple differences between animal dental care and people. In animals, we are unable to instruct them to lay on a table and open their mouths, so we need to have them under general anesthesia. This will allow us to evaluate every tooth and the entire mouth. The other difference is the type of disease pets will have in their mouth. People often get cavities, which is enamel disease. In pets it tends to be periodontal disease including gingival disease that progresses along the tooth causing tooth root infections, changes in the bone holding the teeth, and loose painful teeth. Cats will also get painful resorptive lesions, which cause holes in the teeth while the root gets attacked and broken down by the body.
Considering all these differences between pets and people, your petís dental treatment is much more involved than a typical cleaning that you yourself might receive. Remember, you have been brushing your teeth twice a day for your entire life and seeing your dentist regularly. Some of the treatments that may be indicated for your pet are described below.
Because of the type of dental disease cats and dogs get, dental x-rays are very important. They allow us to look at the tooth root and bone, the parts below the gumline that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Eighty percent of clinically relevant dental anatomy in dogs and cats is not visible to the naked eye! Finding these hidden signs allows us to treat disease early, and prevention is the best medicine.
Some teeth have enamel changes and can have a procedure called a bondant and sealant in order to save and protect teeth. Other teeth can have so much disease that extracting the tooth with oral surgery is the only way to help the pet be pain free and remove infection. Greater than 50% of pets five years and older have at least one painful tooth. Our pets are programmed not to show signs of weakness instinctually so often you will not recognize any signs of pain from your pet.
If you think your pet has signs of dental disease, call for a free ďflip the lipĒ exam with one of our trained staff members. Then we can give you a treatment plan for the dental care your pet may need.