Your pet's oral health plays a huge role in his/her overall systemic health. Bacteria in an unhealthy mouth can easily enter the bloodstream and cause damage to major organs, namely the heart, kidneys and liver.
Prevention is KEY!
Routine at home dental care can do wonders in slowing the onset of periodontal disease in your pet (i.e. brushing with a pet-friendly toothpaste, feeding a dental diet or offering dental treats, oral rinses, etc...). Unfortunately, some pets/breeds are genetically predisposed to dental disease and despite an owners best efforts may still develop an unhealthy mouth.
Once the plaque on your pets teeth thickens and becomes mineralized, it forms tartar. The tartar, in turn, thickens and becomes calculus. It accumulates not only above the gumline (where it is visible to the naked eye) but below it as well, and this is where the real trouble begins. This leads to gingivitis, gum recession, pocket formation, infection and eventual loss of the tooth.
Treatment options for your pet...
Treatment plans for advanced periodontal disease (as seen in the photo to the right) usually includes antibiotic therapy, pain management and a dental cleaning. The cleaning process is essentially the same you would have through your own dentist via an ultra sonic scaler. This removes tartar/calculus above and below the gum line. Severely diseased teeth may need to be removed. The remaining teeth are polished (just like ours) and a fluoride treatment is applied. The entire process takes about 30 minutes.
Please note: some patients may require pre-anesthetic bloodwork to ensure that kidney and liver function are satisfactory for anesthesia, as these are the organs that metabolize the anesthesia. If your pet is not a good candidate for anesthesia, their dental disease can still be managed with pulse therapy, antibiotics, and pain medications, if needed.
If you are interested in a dental cleaning for your pet or just have questions, please do not hesitate to contact the office. We are here to help!