Does your pet’s smile sparkle as brightly as their personality? If not, it may be time for a dental exam. That’s right. Pets need dental care and checkups just like people, and our team at Insight Veterinary Wellness Center is happy to provide a full range of dental care services for cats and dogs.
Why Dental Care Is So Important for Pets
Imagine what your teeth and gums would be like if you never brushed or visited the dentist. Unfortunately, that’s the actual, foul state of many cats’ and dogs’ mouths. Dental care, both at home and at the veterinary hospital, are important parts of your pet’s overall preventative and wellness care. Neglecting a pet’s teeth and gums creates more than just a poor-hygiene situation, it is also very harmful to their health.
When plaque and tartar are allowed to build up on a pet’s teeth, it creates pockets between the teeth and gums where harmful bacteria thrive and multiply. Eventually, neglecting a pet’s oral hygiene leads to gum (periodontal) disease. Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gums. This infection is painful, leads to the deterioration of tooth roots and bone, and can also lead to a blood infection. As bacteria from periodontal disease travels within your pet’s bloodstream, it harms vital organs throughout the body and can eventually lead to death.
How to Tell If Your Dog or Cat Has Gum Disease
Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease include:
What Does a Pet's Dental Exam Entail?
Pet dental appointments aren’t much different from people’s. Our veterinarian will inspect your pet’s teeth and gums, looking for signs of gum disease or other concerns. We then scale and polish the pet’s teeth to remove the plaque and tartar buildup that causes gum disease.
We will also take dental x-rays, which allow our veterinarian to see if there are any problems, like cavities or abscesses, that need to be addressed with your pet’s teeth or below the gum line.
For patient safety, pet dental cleanings are performed while the patient is under general anesthesia. Prior to your pet’s dental appointment, our veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination and will order a health screening with routine laboratory tests to ensure your pet is healthy enough to undergo anesthesia.
How to Care for Your Pet's Teeth at Home
Between professional dental appointments, you can care for your pet’s teeth at home. We recommend establishing a brushing routine with your cat or dog. Be sure to use a toothpaste that’s formulated and flavored for your pet and a special pet-sized toothbrush. You can also provide your pet with dental-friendly chew toys and treats.
For more information about our pet dentistry services or to schedule a dental exam and cleaning for your cat or dog, we welcome you to contact Insight Veterinary Wellness Center today.