Your pet’s dental health is just as important as your own dental health since dental disease can have an effect on the body’s overall health. At least once a year your pet should have their mouth examined by a veterinarian. The doctor will check the mouth for signs of dental disease which includes bad breath, loose or broken teeth, swollen or inflamed gums, and teeth that are covered with tartar. At home you can look for signs of dental disease by paying attention to your pet’s chewing habits. Common signs of dental disease also include dropping food from the mouth, abnormal chewing, reduced appetite or refusal to eat.
The veterinarian may recommend a dental cleaning in order to clean and further assess the teeth. Your pet will be placed under light anesthesia which allows us to see every tooth. Just like a human dental cleaning, we will scale, polish, and probe the teeth. We will also perform full mouth radiographs (X-Rays).
Did you know 60% of the tooth is under the gumline making it impossible to see with the naked eye? This is why full mouth dental radiographs are crucial to help make sure every tooth is healthy. After the procedure your pet is recovered from anesthesia and sent home the same day. Most pets are able to eat their regular food directly after a dental cleaning, however if extractions are performed, your pet will need soft, canned food for about a week while their mouth is healing.
Once home, your pet will have a “clean slate” to start fresh with to maintain those pearly whites! The best way to prevent plaque and tartar build up is by brushing every day. Plaque is bacteria that adhere to the surface of the tooth and begins to harden forming tartar within 24 hours which is why everyday maintenance is required. See our next blog post about training your pet to love getting their teeth brushed and other ways to maintain your pet’s healthy mouth.