Routine dental care is more important than you may think. Annual or semi- annual exams and cleanings are recommended to prevent, diagnose, and treat periodontal disease. Regular dental exams are the first step towards proactive wellness! At Lakewood Animal Hospital, we will assess the health of your pet’s teeth and gums, while checking for signs of pain, inflammation, and abnormal masses.
Your pet is unable to communicate the pain and discomfort of dental disease!
Know the symptoms:
- Bad breath
- Excessive drooling
- Difficulty chewing
- Yellow or brown crust of plaque on the teeth or near the gum line
- Loss of appetite
- Teeth chattering
- Weight loss
- Sneezing and nasal discharge
Can you imagine not brushing your teeth for years? One yearly dental cleaning for your pet is comparable to one dental cleaning for you every seven years! So why is proper dental care overlooked?
Dental care is an integral part of your pet’s overall health, yet you pet may not communicate oral pain. Dental disease and infection such as Periodontal Disease, Gingivitis, and painful tooth decay are all preventable! Annual dental cleanings and exams keep your pet’s mouth healthy, hygienic, and free of oral bacteria that could spread to vital bodily organs such as the heart, kidneys, and liver, which may lead to conditions that are life-threatening.
Cleanings must be performed under general anesthesia. Our experienced veterinarians and technicians closely monitor patients throughout the entire procedure and afterwards in recovery until they are awake and alert. For your pet’s safety, we may run pre-surgical blood work.
Dental radiography is an essential tool to accurately assess and diagnose complete dental health. Over half of your dog or cat’s tooth is below the gum line. Many painful oral conditions are left unseen such as foreign objects lodged in the gums, jaw and tooth fractures, abnormal roots, tumors, stomatitis, cysts, and abnormal, mal-positioned, missing, or dead teeth. Dental x-rays are also beneficial during dental procedures and afterward when evaluating procedural success.
At-Home Dental Care
In between annual dental cleanings and exams, we encourage at-home dental care. Aim to brush your pet’s teeth every day or every other day, especially after a meal. Routine at-home teeth cleanings will help decrease plaque build-up and oral bacteria that may lead to more threatening conditions.
The younger the better! The sooner you begin brushing your pet’s teeth, the faster your pet will get used to it and the easier it will be for you. If your pet is resistant, consider dental treats and toys that remove plaque and massage gums while your pet chews! Your veterinarian can further discuss at-home dental care and recommend pet toothpastes, toothbrushes, and oral solutions, as well as treats and toys.