Dental Disease Symptoms

Dental disease is one of the most common medical conditions in pets — in fact, at least 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of dental disease by the time they’re 3 years old. As with many medical conditions — pets tend to hide their discomfort until the pain gets worse. When in doubt, an evaluation by your veterinarian can help determine if there’s a dental problem.

  • Chewing on one side of the mouth
  • Swollen or bleeding gums
  • Reluctance to eat hard food
  • A foul mouth odor
  • Facial swelling
  • Broken, chipped, or discolored teeth

Preventative Dental Care

Dental disease in cats and dogs is incredibly common and if left untreated, can lead to dangerous health conditions. While we include a dental health exam as part of your pet’s regular exam, good pet dental care should start at home. Prevention is always the best medicine, and these tips below can prevent a routine dental cleaning from becoming an oral surgery (where teeth need to be removed) for severe dental disease.

Toothpastes & Toothbrushes

Using an enzymatic toothpaste along with a pet friendly toothbrush or finger brush can help reduce bad breath and stop plaque buildup. We recommend that you brush your pet’s teeth daily if they allow. This is easiest when introduced at a young age.

Drinking Water Additives

Animals should always have access to free choice water. If there is concern with dental health, your veterinarian can guide you to our recommended dental water additives. These products help to maintain good oral health and freshen your pet’s breath.

Dental Chews

We love to treat our pets, but not all treats are the same. If dental health is a concern there are treats and chews created with enzymes that help loosen tartar and prevent plaque. These neat treats are great for after brushing or on days when brushing isn’t possible. Your pet won’t know it’s healthy!

Dental Support Pet Food

For some patients, it is recommended to feed specially formulated food designed to support your pet’s dental health can reduce plaque, stains, and tartar buildup. These foods are veterinary prescribed.

Before Dental Cleaning

Because our dental cleanings are done under anesthesia, we recommend pre-anesthetic blood work. It will look at how your pet’s liver, kidneys and blood sugar are functioning, their levels, and whether or not it is safe for your pet to undergo anesthesia.

Unless your pet requires a more serious dental procedure than a cleaning, our dental cleanings are typically same day discharge. On the day of your pets procedure it is important that your pet has nothing to eat or drink after midnight on the day before.

For your pets comfort, we suggest bringing something that smells like home to leave with your pet – like a blanket or a shirt you slept in overnight.

During Dental Cleaning

Our dental cleanings are done with ultrasonic scaling.Ultrasonic scaling is done with high frequency sound waves that are administered to the teeth, which knocks off plaque and tartar buildup.  After, our dental technicians use a rotational polisher to bring your cat or dogs teeth to a clean & shiny finish.

Typically, if a tooth requires surgical extraction, it is noticed during the initial dental exam. At this time, you have the option of approving additional measures if they are necessary. This helps reduce the risk of unnecessary anesthesia and additional procedures.

If your cat or dog has an issue during the dental cleaning, we will always do our best to contact the pet parent. If we find that your pet requires a tooth extraction during their dental cleaning, we will call you for approval to remove the tooth.

Dental Discharge

Your pet will be discharged with instructions for their care. Depending on the amount of work done during the dental cleaning, your pet may go home on a limited diet and water intake for the night. Don’t worry – each patient is different and we will make sure you have all the instructions you need before you take your cat or dog home.

Make sure to follow your take home care instructions & call us at 607-547-8488 if you have any concerns.