February is Dental Health Month, and Caring Heart Animal Hospital proudly offers dentistry services! In addition to clean teeth and fresh breath, taking care of your pet’s pearly whites also plays a critical part in your furry friend’s overall health and well-being. Regular cleanings are essential to preventative care.

Why your pet needs regular dental cleanings

Most pets develop the early stages of periodontal disease by three years of age. Poor oral hygiene can lead to gingivitis, periodontal disease, tooth loss, bone loss, oral pain, abscesses and infections, excessive drooling, and difficulty eating. Additionally, because bacteria in the mouth can be absorbed into the bloodstream, other organs, like the heart, kidneys, and liver, can suffer as a result of poor oral hygiene.

Periodontal disease progresses quickly and begins when bacteria combine with food particles to form plaque on the teeth. Soon, minerals in the saliva bond with the plaque to form tartar, a substance that strongly adheres to the teeth. When bacteria get under the gum line, inflammation occurs and leads to gingivitis, which destroys the tissues surrounding the teeth and causes eventual tooth loss.

Since many pet owners struggle to brush their pet’s teeth regularly and bacteria accumulate under the gum line, regular dental cleanings conducted by the veterinary health care team are important.

Anesthesia and your pet’s dental cleaning

Most pets do not tolerate anyone poking around in their mouth. Because of this, a dental cleaning can only be performed while a pet is under general anesthesia. This enables us to conduct a thorough oral examination; perform dental X-rays; remove the tartar, plaque, and bacteria from under the gum line, and extract diseased or broken teeth while taking measures to control pain.

When was the last time your pet had a dental cleaning? Contact us to schedule an appointment to get your pet’s chompers in tip-top shape!