When was the last time you had your pet’s teeth cleaned? According to the AVMA, pets who have never had a teeth cleaning have signs of dental disease by the time they are three years old. For that reason, City Park Animal Clinic recommends that all pets have yearly oral examinations, and that owners stay proactive by brushing their pet's teeth at home. 

Gum Disease in Dogs and Cats

Dogs and cats are prone to developing the same types of dental diseases and problems as humans, including gingivitis, periodontal disease, tooth decay, staining, and cavities. The process of dental decay and disease starts every time your pet eats. When your pet eats, food particles get on their teeth and gums. This fuels the bacteria in your pet’s mouth, causing an acid attack on the enamel of their teeth and creating a sticky, clear substance called plaque. If the plaque is left on teeth, it hardens into tartar. When plaque and tartar are left on your pet’s teeth for an extended period of time, it can lead to gingivitis, periodontal disease, cavities, and oral infections.

Signs of Dental Disease in Pets

When it comes to detecting potential oral health problems in pets, owners must be vigilant in noticing changes in behavior. This is because pets often do not act like they are in pain until the pain is severe. If you notice any of the signs below, it is important that you contact us to schedule a dental checkup.

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  • Broken or Loose Teeth
  • Discomfort While Eating
  • Extremely Bad Breath
  • Drooling
  • Red Gums
  • Staining on the Teeth
  • Swollen or Inflamed Gums
  • Weight Loss or Loss of Appetite 

The Hazards of Untreated Periodontal Disease in Pets

Untreated periodontal disease in dogs and cats can lead to infection and tooth root abscesses.  Advanced dental disease may also affect your pet’s heart, liver, and kidneys. In order to avoid these potentially life-threatening conditions, it is important to keep your pet’s teeth clean with a combination of at-home care and regular veterinary teeth cleanings.

Pet Dental Cleanings 

Pet dental checkups include an examination of your pet’s head, neck, face, ears, and mouth in order to check for signs of health problems. Once the basic examination is complete, your veterinarian will completely clean all the plaque and tartar from your pet’s teeth and below the gum line under general anesthesia. Full mouth radiographs are taken while your pet is under anesthesia as well.  After radiographs and an oral exam,  we can go over a treatment plan and discuss if there are any diseased teeth that need to be extracted.  Sometimes we may  need to stage treatment if there are multiple teeth that need to be extracted.   We may also recommend referral to a board certified dentist in our area if more extensive dental work needs to be performed (i.e. root canals, etc)

To learn more about our veterinary dental services and how they can protect the health of your pet, call us at (970) 224-2929 today!

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