Plaque is a mixture of saliva, food particles and bacteria. If not removed by thorough cleaning, plaque begins to harden, creating a brown, rock-hard substance known as tartar. Plaque and tartar can cause inflammation of the gums, also known as gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease that is reversible with regular brushing and dental cleanings. If not treated, gingivitis can advance into dental disease, in which the gums recede away from the tooth and form pockets that become infected. Once the root system is infected, the bones surrounding the teeth can begin to break down and extractions often become necessary. The infection can also spread through the bloodstream, compromising organs such as the lungs, heart and brain.
Besides BAD BREATH, dental disease:
- Releases bacteria in the bloodstream
- Increases risk for heart, liver and kidney disease
- Can cause severe pain and problems for your pet
Pets need regular dental cleanings to increase quality and length of life. Regular dental cleanings:
- Allow us to chart periodontal disease over time
- Means less time under anesthesia
- Reduce need for more advanced and expensive treatment in future
- Can add up to 2-4 years to your pet’s life
Dental disease is THE most common disease in dogs. Over 85% of cats and 92% of dogs over age 3 have periodontal disease. Don’t let your pet be a statistic – schedule their dental cleaning appointment today!
What Happens During My Pet’s Dental Cleaning?
During a dental cleaning (sometimes called a prophylaxis), plaque and tartar are removed from a pet’s teeth and the health of the entire mouth (tongue, gums, lips, and teeth) is assessed.
A thorough dental cleaning can be accomplished only while the pet is under general anesthesia. The anesthesia we use is safe for animals and your pet is monitored constantly while under anesthesia. Prior to anesthesia, blood tests are performed to help uncover any hidden illnesses.
How Can I Take Care of My Pet’s Teeth at Home?
Dry kibble is better at cleaning the teeth than the alternative canned foods, it is not the best way to prevent tartar build up. In addition, animals don’t chew as thoroughly as humans – their instinct is to eat quickly, not to savor each bite.
Chewing on bones or hides can help to clean the teeth, but is still not as thorough as regular brushing. Regular brushing at home is the best way to consistently clean teeth. Pet toothbrushes, pastes, and other dental products can be purchased at Patton Chapel Animal Clinic or can easily be ordered through Patton Chapel Animal Clinic’s online store.
Let’s help keep your pet’s teeth healthy – save 20% on pet dental cleanings in February or if performed within 30 days of the veterinarian recommending a dental cleaning during your pet’s physical exam.