Does your pet have exceptionally bad breath and drool more than usual? Have you noticed redness or bleeding along the gum line of his or her teeth? Has there been a sudden reluctance to eat or difficulty with chewing? Chances are your pet is suffering from dental disease.
By age 3, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease. Left untreated, dental disorders can lead to gum inflammation, tooth infections, and periodontal disease. Visit our dental care tour to view examples of what to look for.
Periodontal disease is a serious condition that starts out as plaque, a bacterial film that attaches to the teeth. If not removed through regular brushing, plaque spreads below the gum line leading to inflammation of the gums and infection of the root canal. The bacteria associated with oral disease can spread through the blood to other organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys.
It is estimated that 85% of adult pets are affected with periodontal disease. If caught early, the costs associated with treatment are significantly less and the additional risks to your pet’s health can be minimized.
The good news about dental disease is that it is preventable. Regular checkups and daily brushing are the best way to avoid periodontal disease and keep your pet’s mouth healthy. Starting a routine of good dental hygiene early in your pet’s life is essential to proper health care, and cats and dogs can learn to tolerate daily brushing at any age. Every wellness exam includes a thorough inspection of your companion animal’s teeth and gums to check for any problems that may need attention. Signs of serious dental problems, such as broken or infected teeth, often go unnoticed, which is why annual dental exams are so important.
Take an active role in maintaining good dental health care:
- Learn to brush your pet’s teeth. View our video on the proper technique for brushing canine or feline teeth.
- Feed your pet a high-quality diet. Ask your veterinarian about foods and treats with proven benefits in plaque and tartar removal.
- Provide chew toys that stimulate gums and help clean teeth.
Although daily tooth brushing is advised for both dogs and cats, studies show only 2% of pet owners follow through. There are a variety of products on the market that, when used routinely on a daily basis, help keep your animal’s mouth healthy. They include specially formulated toothpastes, water additives, rinses, gels, and dental chews. It is important to only use toothpaste that is specially formulated for pets. Some of the ingredients in toothpaste made for humans may cause toxicities in animals. For maintaining good dental hygiene habits, we endorse and carry the full line of C.E.T.® home dental care products, which can be purchased at our clinic pharmacy or through our pet portal online store.
Treatment Options for Dental Disease
The extent of treatment for dental problems depends on the severity of each case. If large amounts of plaque are found on your pet’s teeth, professional dental cleaning will be required in order to properly address the problem. A professional dental cleaning consists of a thorough oral exam in which each tooth will be examined and evaluated, digital dental X-rays, and scaling and polishing. During this procedure, pets are under general anesthesia. If necessary, we also have the professional expertise and equipment to perform tooth extractions, periodontal antibiotic therapy, and sealant of minor tooth fractures.
Oral Health for Life Program
You will enjoy special dental discounts when your pet has a professional dental cleaning within 18 months of their last dental at Zimmvet.
10% off the professional dental cleaning and 10% off any extra dental work (x-rays/extractions). Medications are excluded from the discount.