Dental disease is very common in animals with approximately 85% of pets developing some form of gum disease by the time they are three years old. Just as in humans, dental disease is painful, but because our pets do not have the same ability to communicate their discomfort as we do, until relatively recently a lot of their dental problems were overlooked. Additionally, an unhealthy mouth can lead to other problems such as bad breath, tooth loss, and in more severe instances, liver and heart disease. Signs of dental problems in your pet may include bad breath, red swollen gums, eating difficulties, yellow/brown tartar build up on teeth and drooling.
We at Anicare appreciate that dental care is a vital part of your pet’s preventive health care plan so particular attention is paid to the gums and teeth during your pet’s annual health exam. Our healthcare team is always on hand to advise you on all aspects of your pet’s dental hygiene, including proper diet and tooth brushing.
We also offer our clients and their pets a complete array of veterinary dental care services including comprehensive dental cleanings, tooth extractions and other pet dental procedures, including dental X-rays.
Periodontal Disease – Signs To Watch For
As plaque builds up on your pet’s teeth, it hardens into tartar and damages the teeth and gums. This results in the disease known as gingivitis. Signs of gingivitis include bad breath and reddened gums. If left untreated, gingivitis can cause periodontal disease, a serious infection that can damage the teeth and gums and lead to health problems elsewhere in your pet’s body. If your pet is exhibiting any of the following symptoms, he or she may have periodontal disease:
- Discomfort while chewing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Pawing at the mouth
- Inflamed or bleeding gums
- Bad breath
Dental Examination and Cleaning
Veterinary dental examination and cleaning are very different for pets than they are for humans. Because anaesthesia is required to keep your pet still and comfortable during a cleaning, a complete physical examination is required first in order to detect any complications that may occur from the use of anaesthetic. If teeth are identified that are going to be painful or infected despite cleaning, then extractions are likely to be necessary.
During a cleaning, the skilled veterinary technicians at Anicare use a hand scaler to remove tartar and plaque from your pet’s teeth. Next, a periodontal probe is used to check under the gum line for signs of periodontal disease. An ultrasonic scaler is used to clean the teeth above the gum line, and a curette is used to clean and smooth the teeth below the gum line. Finally, your pet’s teeth are polished and his or her gums are washed with an anti-bacterial solution to prevent future tartar build-up.
Pet Dental Care At Home
Keeping your pet’s teeth clean is a year-round process. Our staff members can show you how to properly brush your pet’s teeth at home. This helps delay the build-up of plaque and tartar and is a great way for you to bond with your pet. Certain foods are also available to help prevent tartar build-up, which we can both recommend and supply.