August 30, 2017
One of the most commonly diagnosed illnesses by vets is oral disease. In recent years, dentistry for people has transitioned to preventive rather than reactionary care. For Pet dental health month, we encourage our patients to begin transitioning their four legged family members to preventive dentistry as well.
Why Dental Care is Important for Pets
Pets’ teeth are susceptible to decay and damage just like ours. The foods they eat, hopefully, contain less of the sugars and acids that cause decay and weaken human teeth, so they don’t need the same level of dental care that people do. However, left completely unchecked, your pet’s oral health can impact the function of the rest of their body. The most obvious reason for this is the pet’s inability to properly chew and ingest their foods. Additionally, your pet’s whole body health is impacted by poor oral hygiene because the immune system can be overtaxed by chronic oral health conditions leading to other health issues.
Signs of Oral Health Problems in Pets
You should call your vet right away if you notice any of the following issues:
- Chronic bad breath
- Swollen mouth, jaw, gums, or face
- Darkly colored or yellow teeth
- Stop chewing on toys or avoid eating hard foods
- Chronic drooling
- Chattering teeth or cessation of grooming (more common in cats)
- Tooth loss
How are Dental Cleanings Performed for Pets
Your vet may have different practices, but the most commonly used method of pet dental cleanings is to schedule two appointments. During the initial visit, the vet examines your pet for signs of oral health disease or infection. If they find concerns, your pet may be prescribed antibiotics and/or immune boosting medications. Once the course of antibiotics is completed, the dentist will schedule your pet’s teeth cleaning. To prepare for your pet for the teeth cleaning, you’ll need to have them fast the night before their appointment. Allow them access to as much water as they like, but keep them away from any foods. This is because they will be given anesthesia in order to sleep through their appointment protecting your pet and your vet from unnecessary discomfort. Just like your own oral health exam and teeth cleaning, your vet will carefully examine teeth and remove plaque and tartar buildup. If they discover damaged or decayed teeth, they may extract these at this time as well. At most veterinary practices, you can drop your pet off in the morning and pick them up in the evening with a sparkling smile.
Meet the Author
The Tyson’s Dental Esthetics team is dedicated to keeping patients informed about all of the latest happenings in oral health and around our office. This blog is a great place to keep up with us. At Tyson’s Dental Esthetics, we’re dedicated to helping our patients keep their family’s smiles whole and healthy – pets included. Don’t hesitate to contact our caring team if you want to find out more about pet dental care or schedule your next appointment
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