Questions Answered About Your Pet's Dental Health

Did you know that periodontal disease is one of the most common conditions seen by veterinarians?

Besides bad breath, most dogs and cats do not show any clinical signs despite being in pain.  Because of this, it tends to be under-treated despite being associated with damage to other organs.

What is periodontal disease?

An oral lesion in a cat

An oral lesion in a cat

It occurs when bacteria in the mouth hardens and becomes tartar attached to the tooth.  As it spreads under the gumline, the tissues around the tooth become damaged resulting in infection and tooth loss.  Veterinarians have also found that the bacteria can also spread through the blood stream and can cause changes in the kidneys, liver, and heart.   

Why does my pet need a dental cleaning?

Unfortunately, the dental changes caused by periodontal disease are irreversible.  Treatment includes a full oral examination by a veterinarian, scaling, and polishing.  Dental x-rays are needed to accurately diagnose and treat patients. 

Can this be done in a well-behaved, awake animal?

It may be possible to remove the visible tartar in an awake pet, however the tartar below the gum line is left behind and will continue to cause damage, infection, pain, and bad breath.  So although non-anesthetic dentals sound appealing, the underlying periodontal disease will continue to spread.

What can I do to help my pet’s oral health?

Schedule a wellness exam today and ask your veterinarian if your pet has signs of periodontal disease.  Your veterinarian can discuss how to treat it and how to care for your pet’s dental health at home.