Veterinary Dental Care in Gallatin, TN
As a pet parent, you certainly want your furry friends to have a healthy mouth. According to the American Veterinary Dental College, most dogs and cats show signs of periodontal disease by the age of three. One of the best ways to ensure your pet has optimal dental health and no hidden painful problems is to take them for regular teeth cleanings and practice at-home oral care such as brushing your pet’s teeth and gums.
What is Veterinary Dentistry?
Veterinary dentistry is a field of veterinary medicine that’s concerned with keeping your pet’s mouth healthy. This includes cleaning, adjusting, filing, extraction, or repairing your pets’ teeth and all other aspects of oral health care.
Pet dental care includes not only annual professional dental cleanings done at a veterinarian’s office but also regular at-home dental care. Brushing your dog’s teeth a few days a week is a great way to maintain good oral health – where possible, try cleaning your pet’s teeth every day, but if this isn’t possible, aim to brush their teeth 3-4 times a week. However, never use human toothpaste as it contains chemicals that can harm your furry family friends.
Also, providing your pet with chew toys can help maintain healthy teeth (tooth-friendly toys can help clean your pet’s teeth as they chew. In addition to cleaning your pet’s teeth, you can also prevent gum disease and maintain your pet’s dental hygiene by feeding your pet quality food which may include a dental diet recommended by your vet. This typically consists of dried food and treats that help scrub your pet’s teeth as they chew.
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What is a Pet Dental Cleaning?
Pets need regular dental cleanings just like humans. When your pet eats, their saliva, bacteria, and food form together, creating plaque, a type of bacteria that produces a clear film on the dental surface known as plaque. Plaque can build up over time if it isn’t removed, creating tartar, a brown, yellow hardened substance.
A build-up of tartar can irritate your pet’s gums as it accumulates above and below the gum line, causing inflammation, redness, and periodontal disease (gum disease). If left untreated, periodontal disease can result in tooth loss, and if the bacteria that caused the plaque to enter your pet’s bloodstream, it can create heart, lung, and kidney problems.
Periodontal disease is preventable if your vet catches signs early, which can only happen during a cleaning. During the cleaning, we will perform a thorough dental examination, teeth cleaning and polishing to remove the tartar and plaque. The area underneath the gum line also will be cleaned, which is necessary to reduce gum inflammation (gingivitis).
Once your pet’s teeth have been scaled, they will be polished to remove micro-scratches, making it more difficult for plaque to redevelop. This is done while your pet is under general anesthesia. Anesthesia makes it possible to perform the dental cleaning with less stress and pain for your pet and also allows for a deeper and safer cleaning because your pet is not moving around, risking injury from the dental equipment.
Signs Your Pet Needs a Dental Cleaning or Another Vet Dental Treatment
There are several signs that your pet needs to go to the vet:
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Discolored teeth or visible tartar
- Abnormal drooling
- Reduced appetite
- Bleeding or swelling
How Often Should I Schedule Pet Dental Cleanings?
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but we recommend professional teeth cleanings once a year for most breeds, but a few individuals, especially smaller breeds, may need 2 visits per year to prevent loss of teeth.
Schedule Your Pet’s Dental Cleaning Appointment Today!
The importance of pet dental cleanings cannot be overstated. Neglecting to care for your pet’s teeth can result in serious health problems and higher pet teeth cleaning costs in the future. At Bluegrass Veterinary Hospital, we’re committed to helping your pet maintain the best oral health. When you bring in your furry family member for a dental cleaning, your pet will leave with a sparkling smile, and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping keep their mouth healthy and clean! Contact us today to schedule an appointment!