Pets have teeth too and since it can be challenging to brush their teeth daily many pets suffer from dental disease. By three years of age 85% of pets have some form of periodontal disease. That “doggy” and “kitty” breath isn’t normal, it’s a sign of dental disease. Take a look in your pet’s mouth, do you see redness on the gums, brown build-up of calculus, bleeding? Those are signs that something isn’t right in his mouth. It can be hard to tell that our pets are in pain from their teeth because they hide it well. An oral health exam is part of their annual checkup. Often it is hard to do a full assessment because they don’t understand how to say “AHHHH”.
A dental for your pet is very similar to what we humans get, except they do need to be asleep. Sedation not only makes it easier for us to fully examine their mouth but it is also safer because it protects their airways and prevents pieces of calculus that get removed from being inhaled into their lungs.
When your pet comes in for a dental visible tartar is first removed, then a special tool is used to safely remove tartar from under the gum line. The gums are checked for pockets surrounding the teeth (a sign of more significant disease), the teeth are then polished and treated with fluoride. Many times the roots are diseased with no sign on the crowns. Dental x-rays allow us to look for this very painful problem and treat accordingly. With routine dental care your pet can have a healthier mouth and a longer lifespan.
by Amy R. Wenzel, DVM Fairland Animal Hospital