To protect your pet’s health and ensure he or she is not experiencing any dental problems, regular dental check-ups, combined with good dental hygiene at home, is an important part of your dog’s or cat’s preventive health care program.
Keeping your pet’s teeth and gums healthy is vital to maintaining his or her overall well-being and helping ensure your pet leads the best life possible. Did you know that dental disease in pets can not only lead to painful eating and inhibit proper nutrition, but it can also lead to serious liver, kidney, heart, and other problems that may threaten your pet’s overall health. Often the symptoms of dental disease are not noticeable until they are in an advanced stage. That’s why our doctors at Arden Shoreview Animal Hospital want to work with you to provide your pet with the best dental care possible.
Dental Care Examinations
When you bring your pet in for a physical examination your pet will receive a dental examination as part of our comprehensive health care review. Should we find any issues such as evidence of gum or tooth erosion, broken teeth, or excessive plaque buildup or gingivitis, we will discuss our findings and offer you treatment options for your pet. We believe this is one of the most important areas of preventable health care problems for your pet and should be assessed at least once a year.
The centerpiece of good dental care is a complete oral exam under anesthesia, followed by a thorough cleaning. Our dental cleanings include digital dental X-rays, EKG monitoring, ultrasonic scaling, tooth polishing and a mouth rinse, the combination of which is designed to keep your pet safe, remove plaque and slow its buildup and give our Doctors the information they need to diagnose and treat periodontal disease. Our doctors will also perform any necessary and approved tooth extractions. Our digital dental X-rays, which are high-definition images that provide a view below your pet’s gum line and jaw in order to look for evidence of dental disease that cannot be seen by visual examination alone, are a wonderful tool for enabling the treatment of dental issues before they become much larger and more expensive medical issues. We are capable of offering a number of dental procedures and oral surgeries. For more complicated or severe cases, we may refer you to a board-certified dentistry specialist.
Home Dental Care
You can prevent serious dental problems by making sure your pet receives dental exams at least once a year and for some pets every six months. Brushing your pet’s teeth is the single most important procedure you can do to maintain good oral health.
Dental care is not something that can be left to periodic visits with us. Because plaque buildup – the primary cause of poor oral health – is a gradual process occurring throughout the life of your pet, it is important to practice good home dental care. As with humans, this means regular tooth brushing and in some cases additional steps may be necessary. If performed regularly, brushing dramatically decreases the incidence of gingivitis and can increase the interval between teeth cleaning appointments. If you are unsure of how to brush your pet’s teeth, please ask us and we will work with you to get comfortable with brushing your pet’s teeth at home
You can also protect your pet’s health by taking care to notice these potential oral health problems. Please contact us if you notice:
- Persistent bad breath – one of the first signs of dental disease
- A yellowish-brown crust of plaque on the teeth near the gum line
- Red and swollen gums
- Pain or bleeding when your pet eats or when the mouth or gums are touched
- Pawing at the mouth
- Decreased appetite or difficulty eating
- Loose or missing teeth
Arden Shoreview Animal Hospital is dedicated to partnering with you to ensure your pet has a long and happy life and does not needlessly suffer with dental disease. Please call us with any questions in this area anytime.
Preventive Dental Care
Brushing your pet’s teeth several times per week is the best way to prevent plaque and tartar build-up. Interested in learning how to brush your pet’s teeth? Just ask and our veterinarians will be happy to help you get started. If you have a pet that won’t tolerate brushing, our veterinarians can also recommend products that will help keep your pet’s mouth healthy in between cleanings.