Taking a Bite Out of Your Pet’s Dental Care
February is dedicated to recognizing the importance of your pet’s dental health. To honor the national movement, Maywood Veterinary Clinic is offering a 15% discount on dental procedures all month long!
You love your pet’s toothy grin, but neglecting your pet’s dental care is no laughing matter. In fact, periodontal (gum) disease has been linked to a number of serious health challenges, including heart disease. Preventing the development of gum disease is as important to overall wellness as proper nutrition and regular exercise. Luckily, our team is here to help you get started!
Have You Seen These?
You may not realize your pet is suffering from painful symptoms associated with poor dental hygiene. If you ever observe the following red flags, we urge you to call us:
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Difficulty chewing or refusing to eat
- Apparent mouth or facial sensitivity
- Pawing at the mouth
- Red or inflamed gums
- Tooth loss
- Increased sleeping, irritability, or depression
How Does This Happen?
Bacteria in the mouth forms a layer of plaque on your pet’s teeth. Over time, this hardens into tartar. This buildup will create inflammation in the gums, eventually causing the gums to recede from the teeth.
There are four stages of periodontal disease, and approximately 80% of all cats and dogs show symptoms of one stage or another.
- Stage 1 – This is typically referred to as gingivitis. Symptoms include mildly red gums and some plaque accumulation. This is usually reversible.
- Stage 2 – Plaque is seen below the gum line, and redness and swelling are typically present.
- Stage 3 – Tartar, also known as calculus, is observed below the gum line. This stage can include bone loss, redness, bleeding, and noticeable recession of the gum line.
- Stage 4 – Severe inflammation, lost or loose teeth, gum bleeding, and tartar is significantly present beneath the gums.
Why My Pet?
Some breeds are genetically predisposed to gum disease, but your pet’s dental care is also impacted by age, diet, and overall health. Regular wellness visits, routine cleanings, and effective at-home care are significant to bettering your pet’s oral health.
If your pet is diagnosed with periodontal disease, it’s critical to develop a treatment plan that can stop the onset of symptoms or reverse it completely.
Oral Exams and Cleanings
Part of your pet’s treatment plan may consist of prophylaxis conducted under general anesthesia. This ensures your pet is safe, secure, and at ease during the procedure. We conduct pre-anesthesia bloodwork to ascertain whether or not your pet can withstand the process, and we can administer antibiotics, if necessary.
Using ultrasound technology, we clean each tooth thoroughly – both above and below the gum line. Polishing and fluoride treatments complete a routine professional cleaning.
Loving Your Pet’s Dental Care
Establishing a routine is easier than you might think. Try making brushing a regular part of grooming or snuggling time. Who knows? He or she may even start to like it!