Chances are you have heard the team 'doggy breath' - and know how it smells. Bad breath is one of the first signs of dental disease in pets. And dental disease is a serious issue.
Dental disease can cause pets severe pain. It also poses the risk for oral bacteria to travel into the body through the bloodstream. Thankfully, dental disease is completely preventable. Regular dental cleanings can keep the tartar, bacteria, and plaque associated with these ailments at bay to protect the integrity of your pet's teeth, gums, and overall health.
Dental exams are our way of ensuring that your pet’s mouth, teeth, and gums are healthy and don’t have any warning signs of dental disease or other issues. We conduct basic dental exams as part of any full-body wellness exam when you bring in your pet for a check-up.
However, if you notice specific symptoms of oral discomfort or other problems (poor eating habits, persistent bad breath, reluctance to be touched near the mouth or face, bleeding from the mouth, etc.), we’ll conduct a much deeper and more thorough dental exam in order to figure out exactly what’s wrong.
Based on the results of a dental exam, we may prescribe specific at-home care plans. This could include brushing, dental treats that improve oral health, and potentially dietary changes. Caring for your pet’s oral health should be a partnership between you and our team at Willowrun Veterinary Hospital - and, of course, your furry best friend.
Dental cleanings involve the removal of plaque and tartar buildup from your pet’s teeth, a thorough polishing of the teeth, and sometimes special procedures such as the extraction of a tooth - but only after discussing it thoroughly with you as the owner.
We usually tend to anesthetize pets for dental cleanings, as this helps eliminate stress, discomfort, and pain during the procedure - particularly if it’s the result of pain your pet is experiencing in the mouth, which can make them very protective of the area. Anesthesia also makes it easier for us to properly and safely access your pet’s mouth during the procedure and avoids sudden movements from your pet.
In addition to annual dental cleanings, dental care can also be practiced in between visits in the home. Some owners brush their pet's teeth, but there are many varieties of dental toys and treats available that can slow the buildup of plaque and tartar.