FullSizeRender-1Proper dental hygiene is a very important part of your pet’s overall health. As in humans, poor dental hygiene can often be the cause of pain and/or serious illness. The most common dental condition affecting domestic dogs and cats is periodontal disease, which is an infection and inflammation of the gums and supporting tissues of the teeth. It is estimated that more than 80% of dogs and 70% of cats will develop tooth and gum disease by the age of 3 years. Untreated periodontal disease can lead to tooth and gum loss, severe pain which often leads to a loss of appetite and weight, and even damage the heart, kidneys and liver.

FullSizeRender-3Periodontal disease is classified under two categories: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gum tissue, which results in redness, swelling and discomfort. With regular dental visits, gingivitis can be reversed before it becomes the more severe periodontitis. Periodontitis is a condition which can be controlled, but may never be totally cured. Severe gum inflammation/recession, and alveolar (the bone that holds the teeth in place) bone loss are all characteristics of periodontitis.

Some symptoms of periodontal disease include:

• Bad breath-This is usually one of the earliest signs of infection

• Yellow/Brown crusted plaque on the teeth & near the gum line

• Red/swollen/bleeding gums

• Decreased appetite or difficulty eating

• Loose or missing teeth

If you notice any of the above symptoms in your pet, they may have a periodontal infection. Please call to schedule a dental consultation today. The earlier these problems are detected and addressed, the better your pet’s chances for long-term health and well-being. Not to mention the fact that these procedures become significantly more expensive in severe cases.

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Veterinary dentistry differs from human dentistry in that all procedures necessitate the use of general anesthesia. As a result, patients will stay at the hospital for the day until they are fully recovered from it’s effects. A routine dental procedure includes sub-gingival (below the gum-line) cleaning as well as ultrasonic scaling to remove plaque and tartar buildup. The veterinarian will also do an overall assessment of your pet’s mouth while they are under anesthesia, checking gum condition and looking for loose and/or broken teeth.

Dental care does not end once your pet returns home from the veterinarian. We recommend brushing your pet’s teeth at least weekly to maintain good oral health. Upon discharge from the hospital, a veterinary technician will instruct you on the proper method, as well as provide you with a dental “goodie bag” to take home.Teeth after dental cleaning