The Importance of Dentistry
Pets with routine dental care typically live longer and healthier lives. Pets with dental disease constantly release bacteria from their mouths into their bloodstream (i.e. bacteremia), resulting in inflammatory changes in the heart, liver, and kidney tissue in otherwise healthy animal. This problem may be exacerbated in pets that already have other existing disease. PERIODONTAL DISEASE IS A MAJOR HEALTH RISK FOR YOUR PET. It is the most common disease in small animal practice. It is PAINFUL. Most frequently, pets with oral pain "suffer in silence". It is PREVENTABLE.
What is periodontal disease?
Over 85% of dogs and cats have some type of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease simply means that the gums and bone that hold the teeth in place are being destroyed by oral bacteria. This preventable disease is the number one diagnosed disease in our pets, yet many animals suffer needlessly. Periodontal disease begins with gingivitis, or inflammation of the gum tissue, which is caused by plaque. Plaque is a mixture of saliva, bacteria, glycoproteins and sugars that adhere to the tooth surface. Within minutes after a cleaning, a thin layer of plaque has adhered to the teeth. Eventually this hardens to become calculus or tartar. Calculus by itself is nonpathogenic - it does not cause disease. However, it does create a rough surface for more plaque to adhere to, and pushes the gums away from the teeth, which increases surface area for more plaque to adhere. Eventually, the supporting structures of the tooth (bone, tissue, periodontal ligament) are destroyed and the tooth becomes mobile and will either fall out on its own or need to be extracted.
Signs of periodontal disease:
- bad breath (halitosis)
- reluctancy to eat
- chewing on one side of the mouth
- dropping food
- inflamed gums
- pawing at the face or rubbing the face on the floor
- painful mouth/face
It is important to prevent and treat periodontal disease, oral bacteria can easily affect other organ systems including the heart, liver, and kidneys.
Recommend preventive care:
Bring your pet in for a dental exam. Don't wait for his annual checkup if you suspect a problem.
Begin a dental care regimen at home. Brushing your pet's teeth daily is very important. We also recommend using a specially formulated dental rinse, and dental chews and food.
Schedule your pets for an annual teeth cleanings. This is also very important and ensures we are catching any disease early enough to treat.
We offer a comprehensive dental package to address your pets needs:
- oral exam
- cleaning of teeth, also below gum line
- pain management
- sedation and anesthesia
- monitoring of anesthesia and recovery
Call us today to schedule an exam and cleaning.