Dental Health and Your Pet

Submitted by Veterinary Wellness Partners on Wed, 02/06/2013 - 1:26pm

Dental health is an integral part of overall pet care.  It is recommended to brush your animal's teeth once a day, using a pet-approved toothpaste.  We recommend C.E.T. brand toothpaste because it contains an enzyme that helps by cleaning the teeth even after you have completed the initial brushing.  

Unfortunately, only 2% of pet owners brush their animal's teeth.  This eventually leads to tartar, plaque and gingivitis.  The earliest sign is usually halitosis (bad breath).  This odor comes from the buildup of bacteria in the mouth.  Once the gums become irritated (gingivitis), this bacteria can enter the blood stream and settle out in regions where vascular beds exist.  Vascular beds are common in most of the major organs of the body, meaning that the bacteria eventually settle on the heart, in the liver, in the kidneys or within the lung tissue.  This can lead to multisystemic organ failure if left untreated.

We emphasize the importance of dental and oral health during our examinations.  Many times, the tartar and gingivitis have progressed to the point of requiring a complete dental prophylaxis and cleaning.  During this procedure, we scale the teeth, probe the periodontal pockets, polish the teeth and extract any teeth that have deteriorated to the point of requiring extracting.  We can also use the newest dental technology to evaluate the tooth root (that portion located beneath the gum tissue).  Our dental x-ray unit produces the highest quality images and guides us in the decision of the best care for your pet.  Please call our office if you have noticed a bad odor to your pet's breath or if your pet is either losing weight or not eating well.  We would be happy to perform an examination and consultation.  At that time, we can recommend the optimum care for your pet.