Like vaccines and proper nutrition, caring for your pet’s teeth should be a regular part of their wellness and preventative care.
How Dental Health Affects Your Pet’s Overall Wellness
Without regular care and cleanings, plaque and tartar accumulate on the teeth. This buildup creates pockets between the gums and teeth where harmful bacteria thrive. As bacteria flourishes, periodontal disease (an infection of the gums) will develop. Left unaddressed, gum disease can lead to serious health problems such as liver, heart, and kidney disease, blood infections, and even death.
Caring for Your Pet’s Teeth and Gums at Home
Like brushing and flossing your own teeth between dental appointments, it’s important to care for your pet’s teeth between veterinary visits. We recommend brushing your pet’s teeth on a regular basis, using a toothbrush and toothpaste specially designed for either cats or dogs. You can also provide your pet with dental-friendly chew toys and treats.
When Should You Schedule a Dental Exam for Your Pet?
Often pet owners don’t realize their cat or dog has a dental problem until Dr. Humphrey or Dr. Upton detects one during a regular wellness exam. Oral health problems do cause symptoms.
Common Signs of Dental Problems in Pets
Pets instinctively mask pain, discomfort, and other signs of illness, which means pet owners need to pay close attention to the behavior of their pets. If you notice any changes in your pet’s behavior, routine, energy, or appetite, schedule a checkup – in-person or via the Anipanion app – right away.
What to Expect During Your Pet’s Dental Appointment
Most dental exams at Pacific Pet Hospital are performed without the need for sedation. Especially anxious pets or pets experiencing significant pain might require a light sedative to ensure a safe, stress-free appointment.
During your pet’s dental exam, one of our veterinarians will evaluate gum health, plaque and tartar buildup, and will also visually examine the teeth for signs of damage or decay. We might also recommend taking a set of dental x-rays, which allows Dr. Humphrey or Dr. Upton to see whether any problems are occurring inside your pet’s teeth or below the gum line. Following the exam, we’ll provide you with a complete dental report.
If it’s determined that your pet requires a dental cleaning or more extensive dental work, such as an extraction, we’ll schedule your pet for an anesthesia-assisted appointment.
Comprehensive Pet Dental Services in Chula Vista
At Pacific Pet Hospital, we perform dental cleanings and oral surgeries using state-of-the-art equipment, high-quality medications, and a gentle touch. To learn more about our pet dental services or to schedule a pet dentistry appointment, please contact us today.