The cleanliness and health of your pet’s teeth and gums has an effect on your pet’s total health. That’s why veterinary dentistry is a preventative service that each and every pet benefits from. At Archer Veterinary Clinic, we combat dental disease with dental exams, dental cleanings, and personalized recommendations for at-home care.
Dental health is often overlooked, yet by the age of 3 approximately 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some degree of dental disease. Plaque build-up and oral bacteria cause pain and infections in the oral cavity and, over time, can enter the bloodstream and put vital bodily systems such as the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys at risk.
If you notice any of the following signs of dental disease in your pet, it’s important to let us know!
- Bad breath
- Yellow & brown teeth
- Red & swollen gums
- Trouble chewing
- Chewing on one side of the mouth
- Tartar on the teeth
- Excessive drooling
- Loss of appetite
- Pawing at the face and mouth
A dental exam is part of every physical examination we perform. Our veterinarians are trained to look for common signs of dental disease, and recommend additional testing such as digital radiography if any areas of concern are found. Based on your pet’s dental diagnosis, a comprehensive cleaning or at-home care may be recommended.
Comprehensive dental cleanings performed under general anesthesia are the only way to completely remove plaque, tartar, and infection in the oral cavity. The reason for this is that many issues are found below the gum line, which is where more than half of your pet’s teeth are found. Depending on the severity of your pet’s dental disease, potential extractions may be needed to fully relieve the pain and discomfort your pet is experiencing.
We take every precaution to ensure your pet has a safe and successful dental procedure. Following your pet’s procedure, we will take digital radiographs to measure treatment success. Plus, we can easily share these images with you!
Continued at-home care will keep your pet comfortable and free of infection between visits. Maintaining proper dental care at home will also slow the progression of dental disease and limit the frequency of comprehensive dental cleanings.
Every pet has a different personality and tolerance level, which is why we will discuss at-home dental options with you during your pet’s visit. If your pet will allow you to use a pet-friendly toothbrush, that’s great! If not, there’s a variety of alternatives like dental chews, treats, rinses, and toys that can effectively break down plaque and tartar.