Dental Disease and your Pet
Dental disease can affect our dogs and cats at any stage of life, but it is most common as our pets enter middle age. Studies at the Veterinary Colleges of Ohio State and Cornell University have found that 85% of dogs and cats over 6 years old have some form of dental disease.
Dental disease can come in many forms: gingivitis, tartar and pyorrhea. Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. You can easily see this by the increase in the pinkness of your pet's gums, especially at the gum line. Tartar is the accumulation of plaque on the teeth, usually starting at the gum line in conjunction with gingivitis. Pyorrhea is the most serious of the three conditions. It is pus in the mouth, usually between teeth and gums. Dental disease can lead to heart, lung, liver, kidney, skin and prostate infections.
Early prevention strategies are our best defense against dental disease. Starting your puppy or kitten off right at a young age is essential. Many different strategies are available; find one that suits your lifestyle and your pets. Hard food diets are beneficial along with providing safe items for your pet to chew on. Water additives can have beneficial bacterial fighting abilities. Brushing your pets’ teeth using a pet formulated tooth paste can be performed daily in your home.
Despite at home dental care, some pets will develop dental disease due to genetic predispositions. Early detection and treatment of dental abnormalities is essential for the overall health and comfort of your pet. An oral exam and assessment will determine if dental disease is present and they best form of treatment.
A professional dental cleaning may be required yearly or only once in your pets’ lifetime, many factors are at play. Dental cleanings are performed under general anesthesia, a breathing tube is placed to secure the pets’ airway and keep oral debris from contaminating the trachea. A full oral exam is performed once the pet is asleep and any abnormalities are noted. Removal of plaque and tartar is accomplished with the use of an ultrasonic scaler as well as curettes and hand-scalers. If any teeth are loose, diseased or fractured, they will be extracted at this time. The tooth surface is then polished and fluoride is applied. The pet recovers from anesthesia and is released home within a few hours.
Does your pet have bad breath? This is often a sign of dental disease that requires treatment. Schedule an appointment to have your pets’ oral health evaluated, 330.410.4899
3578 Hamlin Rd. Medina, OH 44256 | 330.410.4899