Often overlooked as it relates to a pet’s comprehensive health status, animal dental care is needed to provide quality of life and optimal well-being. If left untreated, diseases of the mouth, gums or jaw are not only painful to your companion, but may also be contributing factors to more widespread systemic disease processes. The American Veterinary Dental Society reports that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by age 3.
The beginning and severity of periodontal disease depends on age, breed, diet and at-home care, with younger, small-breed dogs typically presenting with infection earlier than large-breed dogs. Abnormal signs and symptoms of dental abnormalities include: pain, bad breath, excessive drooling, fractured or loose teeth, swelling or bleeding of the gums, tumors, sores or wounds.
The oral examination we perform is the basis of the preliminary treatment plan for your pet. A comprehensive, specific plan can only be determined after your animal has been placed under anesthesia and x-rays of the oral cavity have been taken. General anesthesia is necessary for pets undergoing dental treatment.
While it is understandable that pet owners may be concerned about bad breath and unsightly tartar accumulation, regular dental care is more than cosmetic: Tartar and plaque, often invaded by bacteria, need to be removed to counteract subsequent infection, gingivitis or pyorrhea (infection of tissues surrounding the teeth), with 60% of disease occurring below the gum line.
At Bear River Animal Hospital we are well-skilled and equipped to perform dental procedures such as:
- Dental X-rays
- Ultrasound de-scaling of tartar
- Deep-gum cleaning
- Teeth polishing
After your pet’s treatment, we can discuss home dental care for your companion animal in order to understand how to maintain a disease-free oral cavity and to maximize his or her comfort and quality of life.