Pets need their teeth taken care of just like we do. Dental and oral (mouth) health is an important part of overall health. Signs of abnormal dental health include bad breath, plaque build-up, gum swelling or redness, loose teeth, tooth discoloration and swelling on the nose or jaw. You may also see that your pet drops a lot of food when eating, acts older than they are, or may be grumpier than they used to be. Because of the high level of bacteria in dental disease, prolonged dental problems may be causing serious conditions such as liver, heart, and kidney disease. Dental disease is the most common disease in dogs and cats in the United States, and preventing or treating early signs is the best medicine. On your yearly examination, we will evaluate your pets mouth. Please let us know if you have seen any of the signs listed above as well. Having your pets teeth cleaned, and entire mouth evaluated is called a dental or dental cleaning.
There are a couple differences between animal dental care and people. In animals, we are unable to have them lay on a table and open their mouths, so we need to have them under general anesthesia. This will allow us to evaluate every tooth and the entire mouth. The other difference is the type of disease pets will have in their mouth. People often get cavities, which is enamel disease. In pets it tends to be periodontal, so gingival disease that progress along the tooth causing tooth root infections, changes in the bone holding the teeth, and loose painful teeth. Cats will also get painful resorptive lesions, which cause holes in the teeth and the root to be attacked and broken down by the body. Because of the type of dental disease cats and dogs get, dental x-rays are very important. They allow us to look at the tooth root and bone, the parts below the gumline that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Finding these hidden signs allows us to treat disease early, and prevention is the best medicine.
If you think your pet has signs of dental disease, call for a free "flip the lip" exam with one of our trained staff members. We are excited to offer a variety of dental packages that are sure to fit the dental needs of your pet and your budget. Call us today at (480) 948-0939 to schedule a free "flip the lip" exam.