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A Veterinarian Checking a Dog's Teeth

Dental Health

  • Periodontal Disease (gum disease) is one of the most common medical conditions seen by veterinarians.

  • Over 85% of dogs and cats, older than four years, have periodontal concerns.

  • One milligram of plaque contains over one-trillion bacteria that can cause disease.

  • By keeping up with your pet's dental care, you can extend their life expectancy by 3-5 years.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, or Periodontal Disease, is the inflammation of some or all of the tooth’s supportstructures (including the gums and bone). Gum disease is caused by bacteria.

Bad Breath 101

  • What is Halitosis?

    • Halitosis is another word for bad breath.

  • What causes Halitosis?

    • The most common cause of Halitosis is plaque

Effects of Dental Disease

  • The discomfort in your pet’s mouth may lead to theinability to chew food or reluctance to eat.

  • Behavioral problems may occur (biting, hiding,marking, irritability, etc).

  • Bacteria from the mouth can travel through thebloodstream affecting vital organs such as theheart, lungs, liver, and kidneys.

Myths About Dental Care

Dental cleanings are purely cosmetic

They do make your pet’s pearly whites, white again, but they also remove harmful bacteria that causes gum disease.

Dogs and cats do not feel pain the way people do

Just as you get a tooth ache or sore gums, pets can experience these pains too (especially if they do not receive regular dental care)

A dog or cat’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s

Most pets do not receive a daily brushing, so bacteria is left building up in their mouths. (Ever wonder where the bad breath comes from?)

How to Protect Your Pet

  • Bring your pet in for a dental exam where your veterinarian will assess your pet’s mouth.

  • Your veterinarian will be able to tell you if a professional cleaning is in order.

  • If cleaning is not needed then home care will be discussed.

What Type of Cleaning is Best for My Pet?

With Anesthesia

  • All surfaces of the teeth are cleaned

  • Can clean beneath and between thegums

  • Provides thorough charting of all theteeth

  • Able to take full mouth radiographs

  • Can provide all treatments at once i.e.if there are extractions

  • Safer for the technician, as the animalis unable to bite

  • Can adequately polish teeth toprevent cavities and other problems

Without Anesthesia

  • Only cleans the outside of the teethand the crown

  • Unable to adequately chart all teeth

  • Unable to take dental radiographs.

  • May cost more money if the animalneeds further treatment underanesthesia

  • Not as safe for the vet (they can bebitten by the animal)

  • Can damage the tooth or gums if theanimal moves during treatment

Dental Care At Home

It is important to talk to your vet about routinedental care that you can provide for your pet athome.

Ask your vet about the following products and ifthey’re right for your pet!

  • Oxyfresh

  • Maxiguard Gel

  • Brushing Teeth

  • C.E.T. Chews

  • Oravet Sealant

  • Tartar Shield Chews

Additional Information

Please contact your veterinarian for more information.