Pet Dental Health
Oral health is so important for our pets. An unhealthy mouth, which is often characterized by tartar and plaque buildup or bad breath, may be a precursor for much more serious physical conditions like heart, liver, or kidney disease. Keeping your pet’s mouth clean and healthy can be the key to keeping those organs healthy as well.
How Does Oral Health Affect Your Pet’s Organs?
When tartar and plaque buildup on the teeth, the toxins they contain often seep under the gum line and into the bloodstream, wreaking havoc on the organs that then filter the blood, including the liver, kidneys, and heart, especially. The best way to prevent this from happening is to keep your pet’s mouth clean. This is not always a one-man job, though! For many pets, professional pet dental cleanings are necessary once in a while to make sure that their mouths are truly clean. It shouldn’t come as a surprise: after all, humans need professional dental cleanings twice a year too!
Professional Pet Dental Cleanings
When we conduct our routine physical examinations—once a year for adult pets, twice a year for seniors—we also examine the oral cavity as a part of our complete nose-to-tail check. If we find an excessive amount of tartar and plaque built up on the teeth, we will prescribe a professional dental cleaning for your pet.
Professional dentals are performed while your pet is safely anesthetized. We remove the buildup from the surface of teeth, as well as below the gum line, to ensure that your pet is getting back to a clean start. Some stains from buildup will be impossible to remove, but we do our best to ensure that the surface of the tooth is polished and smooth in order to deter more development of buildup.
Ongoing Pet Oral Care
Once your pet’s professional dental care is complete, an at-home oral regimen is necessary to keep your pet’s mouth in tip-top shape. (If your pet had extractions, or has a particularly sore mouth from their dental care, we recommend waiting several weeks for them to heal before beginning an oral care regimen.)
We recommend the following options for at-home oral care:
- Brushing your pet’s teeth, if they will accept it. Our technicians can educate you on proper tooth brushing techniques if your pet is reluctant.
- OraVet chews
- Oral rinses
- Water additives