Have you noticed that your pet has bad breath, has changed eating habits or just seems generally depressed? All of these may be signs of poor dental health. The veterinarian will examine the gums and teeth for red swelling and tartar buildup and may recommend a dental cleaning. Dental exams should be performed at least once per year to improve the chances of identifying problems before extractions become necessary.
Dental care begins at home and we recommend regular brushings, dental health products and dental diets designed to remove or reduce tartar from the teeth as the pet eats. However, during your pet's life it is highly likely that a dental cleaning will be required. We use an ultrasonic scaler to remove plaque and tartar buildup and will also polish the teeth. A final fluoride‑like rinse will help protect the teeth between cleanings.
Dental disease is a very serious problem among pets as it can contribute to diseases of major organs such as the kidneys, liver and heart. Bacteria accumulating in the mouth can travel throughout the body. Remember too, that an animal with chronic dental disease is also in chronic pain.
Dental X-ray technology, available during dental cleaning, plays a major rôle in helping to determine if an animal is able to maintain the use of a tooth which might otherwise appear necessary to extract.
(For more information, see Dr Moncayo's article on Dental Care for Dogs and Cats.)