Dental Care for Dogs

Did you know that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have oral disease by age 3? When you consider that we brush twice a day and still see a dentist twice a year, it isn’t a surprise that dental health is essential for every dog! It is their most often diagnosed health problem. We know that poor dental health leads to infection in the mouth. It not only causes pain and lack of appetite, but it can also be detrimental to other parts of the body, such as the liver, heart, and kidneys, causing serious disease.

What types of canine dental care services are offered at your hospital?

If your dog has bad breath, swollen or bleeding gums, or other dental problems, we can help. A complete dental cleaning is required if your pet already has dental disease. It involves an evaluation of the oral cavity and cleaning – not only of the surface of the teeth, but underneath the gumline where the majority of bacteria and tartar are found. After the teeth are cleaned, they are polished, which smooths the rough surface created by the cleaning. Without polishing, these irregular surfaces allow bacteria and plaque to adhere more easily and accelerate the recurrence of dental disease. Next, an antibacterial solution is flushed below the gum line to remove any debris that collected after the scaling and polishing. Lastly, the entire mouth is rechecked, and digital dental x-rays may be used to assess the extent of the dental disease and the need for tooth extractions or additional work. Even though most people can tolerate and sit through a thorough dental cleaning, pets can’t. The only way to perform a complete dental cleaning in pets is by using general anesthesia. During the procedure, a registered veterinary technician continually assesses your dog’s vital signs, and we use several monitoring devices during anesthetic procedures.

How often should I brush my dog’s teeth?

The best way to prevent problems is by daily brushing. Please ask us for a toothbrush and paste kit designed especially for pets to start you on your way. If brushing is not an option, certain prescription diets can reduce tartar by 65%. Our team would be happy to help you select a cleaning option that works best for both you and your dog.

Why is oral and dental health important?

Good oral health is an important part of good general health. A veterinarian should evaluate your dog’s dental health at least once a year. We recommend this because bacteria and food debris accumulates around pet’s teeth and, if left unchecked, will lead to deterioration of the soft tissue and bone surrounding the teeth. This decay results in irreversible periodontal disease and even tooth loss.