Poor dental hygiene is often the cause of stinky breath, and it may indicate other important problems with your pet’s health. Don’t ignore your pet’s bad breath. We understand how easy it is to miss many of the problems that stem from poor hygiene. They occur where you can’t see them; below your pet’s gum line. Home care like teeth brushing, dental chews and water additives are the first line of defense. Some animals (dogs) tolerate their owners handling their mouths and brushing their teeth. Others like cats will struggle or run and hide making oral hygiene difficult and ineffective.
Regular dental cleanings (yearly or every 6 months) is the best way to keep your pet’s mouth, teeth and gums healthy. Talk to your veterinarian how often your pet should come in for dental check-ups and an effective home hygiene regimen. This will prevent dental issues from progressing to larger (and potentially deadly) internal issues, such as diseases in the heart, kidneys, liver, and/or lungs.
In the wild, hiding pain or illness are survival instincts; your pet will have the same instincts even in the safety and comfort of your loving home. Keep an eye on your pet’s eating habits and behaviors. Recognizing the difference between normal changes in mood and red flags can be difficult but only you know your pet best. What might appear as persistent grumpiness may actually be a sign that your pet is in pain. New irritability, shying away from being touched (especially on the face and around the mouth or throat), sluggishness, loss of appetite or difficulty eating, and lethargy are all behavioral signs which may indicate illness.
Contact your pet’s doctor immediately if you note any of the following physical changes:
- Red and swollen gums
- Bleeding gums, especially when eating or when having teeth brushed
- Swelling around the mouth
- Oral abscesses
- Abnormal chewing
- Loose or missing teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Crusted build up at the edge of the gums
- Persistent bad or fetid breath
- Excessive drooling
- Weight loss
Keep in mind that preventing oral infections and diseases will help your pet live a longer, healthier life.
Anesthesia for procedures
We use anesthesia for all dental procedures. There are associated risks with anesthesia. However, these risks are outweighed by the benefits of making the procedures safer for your pet, safer for the veterinary staff/doctor. Attempting procedures without anesthesia can present other dangers to the animal or vet. Especially when work needs to be done under the gum line, any movement could mean harm to your pet from our dental equipment.
After all, your pet cannot have a reasoned discussion with our staff the way you can with your dentist; procedures are likely to make them afraid, and they will probably try to get away. Animals who are in pain will act defensively and are likely to bite. Even when they’re healthy, most animals cannot hold still enough or hold still long enough for procedures like X-rays to be completed correctly.
Advances in the latest anesthetics means that for most normal procedures, your pet can go home on the very same day. Your pet may remain groggy, but behavior should return to normal the next day.
Procedures we offer
The procedures we use to treat your pet’s mouth are very close to the procedures a dentist uses for you. An examination is performed before any procedure.
Your pet’s health is as important to us as it is to you. That’s why we provide a full offering of dental procedures. These include:
- Scaling (removal of plaque and tartar above the gum line)
- Cleaning plaque and tartar below the gum line
- Examining below the gum line for signs of disease (X-ray)
- Periodontal disease treatments
- Infection treatment
- Extraction of teeth or dental pulp
- Oral cancer or cysts treatment
- Cleft palate treatment
- Tooth abscess treatment