Why Pets Need Routine Dental Care to Stay Healthy
When your dog attempts to lick your face, does their breath make you cringe? Bad breath is not a normal or healthy trait in pets, and could in fact be cause for concern. The American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) has found that approximately half of all dogs and cats in the US will experience some form of gum disease by as young as 2 years old. Lack of brushing and a proper diet play a large role in the deterioration of your pet’s teeth and gums, which is why our veterinarians in Countryside place strong emphasis on lifelong pet dental care.
Keeping your pet’s mouth clean and healthy depends not only on proper at-home care, but also on professional dental cleanings by a veterinarian. For pets that object to having their teeth brushed, a professional cleaning can improve their oral hygiene significantly.
Pet Dental Care Services Performed at Our Hospital
We offer a variety of dental services for routine maintenance or to treat more urgent problems, like gingivitis and gum disease. Our full list of services includes:
- Oral health exams (usually performed during wellness visit)
- Pre-dental bloodwork – to minimize health risks while pet is under anesthesia
- Digital, full-mouth radiographs – to check for underlying problems
- Dental cleaning – ultrasonic scaler removes tough calculus from tooth surface above and below the gum line
- Polishing – to smooth the surface of each tooth and prevent future plaque buildup
- Surgical extractions – the removal of loose, broken, and/or rotting teeth
How Do I Know If My Pet Needs Dental Care?
Bad breath is not the only indicator of an oral health problem. There are other symptoms and behaviors you might observe in your pet if their mouth is causing them discomfort:
- Excessive drooling
- Red, swollen/inflamed gums
- Loose, broken, and/or discolored teeth
- Frequently dropping food while eating
- Facial swelling
- Pawing/rubbing at muzzle
Gum disease occurs when plaque and tartar harden into calculus that spreads under the gum line, infecting the tooth and its supporting structures. If the bacteria manages to enter the bloodstream, it can lead to disease of the heart, lungs, kidneys, and liver. Daily brushing, routine checkups, and professional dental cleanings can easily prevent this condition from developing in your pet.
For additional information regarding your pet’s dental care, call our hospital at (708) 469-6050 or stop in for a consultation with your veterinarian.