Veterinary Dental Care Means Healthy Pets
There is nothing better than coming home after a long day at work and having your pet greet you at the door, tail wagging and reaching up for a big lick across your face. But, what if your pet has bad breath? That takes the joy out of that wonderful greeting and could be a sign that your pet needs a dental cleaning.
It is estimated that about 80% of pets, by the age of three years, are suffering from some form of oral disease. Tooth decay and gum disease are serious health risks for your pet and could lead to even more serious health consequences, including infections that may spread to the bloodstream, eventually leading to major organ damage.
Fortunately, with a little attention at home and an occasional professional cleaning by our talented veterinarians and veterinary technicians, we can make sure your pet's teeth and gums stay healthy throughout their life.
Signs of Dental Disease
- Difficulty eating
- Bad breath
- Unusual drooling
- Trouble swallowing
- Irritated gums
If you notice any of the above warning signs, please contact us to schedule an appointment right away.
Your Pet's Dental Exam
When you bring your pet to Edmonds Veterinary Hospital, we will always conduct a thorough examination of your pet's mouth, including teeth, gums, and oral cavity. At the end of the oral exam, your veterinarian will discuss with you the level of dental disease and make recommendations for preventive measures you can take at home to keep your pet's teeth healthy. Your vet may also recommend a professional cleaning at our hospital if your pet is in need of more immediate intervention.
What Happens When My Vet Cleans My Pet's Teeth?
For the safety and comfort of your pet, we sedate your pet using anesthesia and all safety protocols of any surgery that we perform. During the procedure, we will remove mineralized plaque and tartar, polish teeth, and do a very thorough examination of the teeth and gums. With the help of digital radiographs, we will be able to identify any teeth that are infected or decayed and take appropriate action take care of the problem.
What Does Dental Disease Look Like in a Pet?
Grade I Dental Disease
At this stage a pets teeth will have some tartar buildup and the gums may appear red and irritated. This is the only stage of dental disease that is considered reversible. Cleaning a pets teeth at this stage is less expensive and your pet is under anesthesia for a shorter period of time.
Grade II Dental Disease
This stage will also show tartar build up and inflamed gums, however pockets typically begin forming below the gum line. An odor that is more than 'doggy or kitty breath' is typically noticeable. Mild to moderate pain may be experienced by your pet. Cleaning teeth at this stage ensures that teeth will last much longer than if cleaning is delayed.
Grade III Dental Disease
At this stage, along with noticeable tartar buildup and inflamed gums, bleeding may be noticeable. Ligaments detach from the roots of teeth causing them to be loose. Dental X-rays are often needed to determine which teeth can be saved. Pain increases at this stage and animals may show difficulty chewing food or stop playing with toys. Once cleaning and oral surgery (if necessary) is performed at this stage many pet owners report that they have a 'new dog' (or cat!) Grade IV Dental Disease: Grade IV is the worst stage of oral health. There are typically more infected pockets, loose teeth, and bone loss. Pain is generally severe and multiple extractions are typically necessary. By cleaning teeth earlier than this stage pet owners can save a lot of money!
Grade IV Dental Disease
Grade IV is the worst stage of oral health. There are typically more infected pockets, loose teeth, and bone loss. Pain is generally severe and multiple extractions are typically necessary. By cleaning teeth earlier than this stage pet owners can prevent the pain and irreversible bone loss.