Teeth Aren’t the Only Issue
There’s more at stake than just healthy teeth if you neglect your pet’s dental health. If gum disease is left untreated for too long, there is a potential for problems to spread to the heart, kidney and liver.
These stresses have the potential to shorten your pet’s life.
Preparing for Cleaning
The whole point of a professional cleaning is to provide a service that is complete and thorough, including taking care to identify any issues that might need to be addressed.
In order for the veterinarian to be able to accomplish this, it’s necessary to put your pet under general anesthesia. Aside from making it possible to fully clean and inspect their teeth, it will prevent your pet from feeling any pain or anxiety during the procedure.
A tube placed in the throat will support breathing and also ensure that your pet does not inhale bacteria that are uncovered during the cleaning.
What Does a Professional Cleaning Include?
During the cleaning, the steps that the veterinarian may take include the following:
- • Remove any visible tartar and plaque
- • Clean out tartar and plaque that is under the gum
- • Probe your pet’s dental sockets to look for signs of disease
- • Polish teeth to smooth scratches that could attract bacteria
- • Take X-rays to look for signs of problems below the gum line
- • Apply a dental sealer
- • If necessary, repair or remove infected or fractured teeth that the exam has revealed
- • Inspect the tongue, lips and mouth
The veterinarian will also create a chart that will make it possible to track your pet’s dental health over time, just as your dentist does for you.
Now that you’ve started down the path to your pet’s oral and dental health, there are steps that you can take at home to prevent future problems, or to prevent any issues that have been identified from worsening. These include:
- • Daily brushing of your pet’s teeth with a child’s toothbrush, or alternatively, a finger brush supplied by your veterinarian. Pet toothpaste is available in flavors including chicken and seafood.
- • Food and treats that can help prevent the formation of plaque. The staff at Affordable Animal Care Hospital in Orange can make recommendations.
- • Rinses and oral sprays can reduce the prevalence of bacteria in your cat or dog’s mouth.
- • A raw bone, provided once weekly, can help keep teeth clean. If you do this, you’ll need to pay attention and take the bone away if a large piece becomes small enough for them to swallow.
If it becomes necessary to remove one of your pet’s teeth, it’s important that you seek the assistance of a veterinarian with extensive training and experience.
Dogs and cats are carnivores, and they use their teeth differently than humans do. To enable them to grab and tear with the force and strength they need, the roots of their teeth go deep into surrounding bone.
This means that extracting the tooth of a pet is more difficult and requires more skill than extracting the tooth of a human. It’s not a job for just any vet – you need high-level skills.
Doing a Thorough Job of Pet Tooth Extraction
In most cases, a surgical approach to extraction is advised. Roots can be located in proximity to blood vessels, nerves, the eye and the nasal cavity.
As in the case of cleaning, an anesthetic will be given to your pet. This makes it possible to carefully and completely remove the root of the affected tooth and to treat surrounding bone that may have been affected.
The “socket” that remains after the tooth is removed is surgically closed. This is more comfortable for your pet and it also speeds healing.
Your pet won’t be able to let you know if a procedure has left it with an unacceptable level of pain or discomfort. It’s best to make sure that you are working with one of our veterinarians at Affordable Animal Hospital – who can be counted upon to do the work properly.
Your pet should be able to resume eating after a procedure. You may have noticed that your dog or cat never really “chews” its food, but grabs it and gulps it down. This is normal carnivore behavior.
If anything, your pet should enjoy eating more because chronic pain has been alleviated.