Strokes, vision problems, arthritis and other conditions don't just affect people. Pets also develop serious health problems that change their lives. Fortunately, you can help your handicapped pet ...View Article
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Did you know that dental care is as important for pets as it is for humans? Regular dog and cat teeth cleaning helps to protect your pet from oral health problems, including gum disease, tooth loss and life-threatening bacterial infections. The best approach to pet dental care combines an annual dental checkup and professional cleaning with regular at-home care including teeth brushing.
Dental care is one of the most overlooked aspects of pet care. However, your pet is more likely to experience a dental problem than any other type of health problem. Since a pet cannot brush his own teeth, it is important that you do so for him. Otherwise, food particles and bacteria will accumulate along the gum line, hardening into plaque and tartar. Once tartar forms, the only way to remove this build up is with a professional cleaning. Without a proper cleaning, tartar deposits can push away the gum line, creating pockets that are susceptible to bacterial infections.
Symptoms of an oral health problem including swollen or bleeding gums, change in appetite (eating food becomes painful), tooth loss, and foul breath. What you won’t be able to see, however, is the internal deterioration occurring along the gum line and the teeth. Tartar and bacteria can literally eat away at the teeth and the gums. If a bacterial infection forms inside the gums, this infection may enter the bloodstream and affect the internal organs, including the heart, liver and kidneys.
Regular cat and dog teeth cleaning is the best way to prevent tooth loss and gum disease in pets. During a dental cleaning, our veterinarian will scrape away tartar from the gum line. Next, we will polish the teeth, creating a smooth surface that is resistant to future plaque deposits. If your pet’s last dental checkup was over one year ago (or your pet has never had a dental cleaning) our veterinarian may also recommend x-rays to assess your pet’s overall oral health. X-rays are helpful for detecting and treating oral health problems before obvious symptoms appear.
Following a cat or dog teeth cleaning, our veterinary care team will walk you through the steps for at-home pet teeth brushing. At-home care is the first line of defense against oral health problems. However, we also recognize that brushing a pet’s teeth is not easy, especially if your pet becomes anxious or squirms near a tooth brush.
To help condition your pet to brushing, we recommend that you start by adding a small dollop of pet-friendly toothpaste to you finger. Gently rub this finger along your pet’s gum line. After several weeks of practice, your pet will become used to this sensation and less resistant to a toothbrush. Our vet recommends brushing your pet’s teeth at least once or twice per week.
Is your pet overdue for a dog or cat teeth cleaning? Contact our veterinarian today to schedule an appointment!