If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t given much thought to brushing your pet’s teeth. You’re an otherwise responsible pet owner, but you assume chew toys and general use will maintain your pet’s oral health. Pets can be burdened by dental problems and diseases just like humans. Dental disease can be painful, inhibit proper nutrition, and lead to other serious systemic issues that may threaten your pet’s overall health before symptoms are even noticeable. Regular dental check-ups at Sequoyah Animal Hospital, combined with good dental hygiene at home, can increase your pet’s health, vitality, and well-being and help ensure your pet leads the best life possible.
Protecting Your Pet’s Dental Health at Sequoyah Animal Hospital
Our veterinarians and staff believe the foundation of good dental care begins with a complete oral exam followed by a thorough cleaning designed to remove plaque and slow its build-up.
At our veterinary hospital, we provide dental care which includes:
- Oral examinations
- Teeth cleanings with ultrasonic scalers under anesthesia
- Diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease
- Tooth extractions (if necessary) and polishing
- Minor oral surgery
If we find any evidence of gum or tooth erosion, gingivitis, or excessive plaque build-up, we will discuss this with you and recommend treatment options for your pet.
In Between Cleanings: Dental Care at Home
By ensuring your pet receives annual dental exams, you can prevent serious dental problems from developing. In between visits to your veterinarian at Sequoyah Animal Hospital, check your pet’s teeth regularly for signs of problems. Brushing your pet’s teeth is the single most important procedure you can do to maintain good oral health. Brushing can dramatically decrease the incidence of gingivitis and can increase the interval between teeth cleaning appointments, if done regularly.
If you are unsure how to brush your pet’s teeth, please ask a staff member at Sequoyah Animal Hospital for instructions.
Signs of Pet Dental Problems
Halitosis, or bad breath, is the most common sign of dental disease. Classic “doggy breath” is not necessarily normal. The major cause of halitosis is periodontal disease. This is an infection of the gums and potentially the other supporting structures of the teeth.
Plaque builds every day on the tooth surface, including at the gum line. Left in place, the plaque can mineralize, or harden, in less than two days, forming calculus or tartar. The continued build-up of tartar above and below the gum line can produce an environment for certain types of bacteria that may be more destructive to the periodontal tissues and also produce a more noticeable odor.
Additional signs of dental disease include:
- Red and swollen gums
- Pain or bleeding
- Loose or missing teeth
- Yellow-brown plaque crust on teeth, near the gum line
- Decreased appetite or difficulty eating
Please call Sequoyah Animal Hospital today at (423) 332-0979 if your pet is experiencing any of the above symptoms. Your pet doesn’t need to spend another day suffering with oral discomfort.