Pet’s teeth need care very similar to your own. We brush our teeth daily to ensure they stay clean and to prevent tooth decay, gingivitis and periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is the most common disease in dogs and cats! About 85% of dogs and cats have some form of periodontal disease and are vulnerable to the pain, bad breath and tooth loss that could follow. Your pet can develop these problems if the teeth are left untreated. In fact, keeping your pet’s mouth healthy is not just important for the health of the teeth and gums, it is important for systemic (whole body) health as well. One gram of tartar contains over 3 billion bacteria. This bacteria enters the blood stream through capillaries in the inflamed gums and showers the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs. Tooth and gum disease can lead to other health concerns including liver, heart and kidney failure.
What is your pet’s dental grade?
Minor- plaque and tartar build up evident but no gingivitis – Dental needed with in next 3 months
Moderate- more plaque and tartar buildup and early gingivitis, action necessary to stop long term damage – Dental needed within the next month.
Major- Severe plaque and tartar build up and ginigivitis, permenant damage has already began and teeth will most likely be lost even with proper care, Dental disease is no longer reversible at this stage – Dental cleaning needed within 2 weeks time
Severe- Severe tartar and plaque build up, severe gum resorbtion due to long term gingivitis, permenant damage have been done and will most likely loose most of teeth at this time or shortly after cleaning procedure due to bone loose – Dental cleaning needed NOW to eliminate infections, not only orally but systemically, and to help alleviate pain.
Carter County Animal Hospital recommends the following products and others for your pet’s good dental health. Any questions can be asked of a staff member or Dr. Wilson:
Dental diets: Purina and Science Diet have oral health diets such as Oral Care, which are specifically designed to provide protection from plaque & tarter buildup. Prescription Diet t/d and Purina DH are formulated specifically for the nutritional management of dogs and cats with dental disease.
CET hextra and Purina chews: As simple as giving a daily treat, great tasting C.E.T. HEXtra Premium Chews with the patented, exclusive Chlorhexidine System help remove plaque and reduce tartar. The antiseptic chlorhexidine system, combined with the natural abrasive cleansing action of C.E.T. HEXtra Premium Chews, helps to keep breath fresh and teeth clean. Use C.E.T. HEXtra Premium Chews daily as an oral hygiene option on those days when brushing isn’t possible.
Petsafe toothpaste & toothbrush: Easy and quick daily tooth brushing is the best at-home method for good dental health. CET toothpaste contains a dual enzyme to inhibit plaque and is specially formulated for dogs and cats. It is available in several flavors and makes brushing easy and rewarding.
Water additives: Clinical trial results show that both Breathalyzer and CET Aqua Dent Water Additive reduces plaque and tarter buildup by more than 50%.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Does my pet have to be under anesthesia?
Yes, to properly clean the teeth of pets we will have to place them under anesthesia. We use the safest in veterinary anesthesia protocols which are tailored to your pet’s age and health status. Before undergoing anesthesia it may be requested that pre-anesthetic blood work be done to determine if the patient could have problems during the procedure.
2) My dog has another illness such as diabetes, kidney failure and heart disease. Does he really need a dental?
Yes, many of these illnesses could be due to the health (or disease) in the patient’s mouth. Bacteria enters the blood stream at the level of the gingivitis and periodontal disease and then moves through the blood stream to the liver, kidneys, heart valves, etc. causing bacterial infection that could lead to long term health problems for your pet. If your pet has another illness such as diabetes or heart failure other precautions will be made to make sure they are as safe as possible during the procedure.
3) How often will my pet need a dental?
Every pet is different in how long they can go between professional cleanings – some can go years while some may need another cleaning in 6 months. It is all determined by several factors such as diet (dry vs. canned), the way that the teeth come together in the mouth (or not come together like some bull dogs) and lifestyle (what they chew on).