Keep Your Doggie and Kitty Smiling! (with fresher breath, too!)

It's true that most of us are well aware of our own dental health - we know about plaque control, cavity prevention, and the social importance and hygiene of having fresh breath. Many of us also realize the important role that dental health plays in the overall health of our bodies, too.

We're seeing more and more pet owners catch on to the notion that pet dental health is just as important for the overall health of the animal. Why is that?

In simple terms, bad teeth can lead to a sick animal - a very sick animal.

Periodontal disease is one of the most common diseases in our pets. Our pets are subject to broken teeth, cavities, and other orthodontic issues like inflammation and infection. Scientific studies continue to demonstrate that chronic infection or inflammation in any part of the body can have serious negative impact on systemic health.

Not to mention, a painful mouth = a painful life for your pet. Some pet owners are shocked to see the condition of their pets' mouth post-exam, exclaiming "I had no idea!". Let's not forget that our pets are masters at disguising their pain. Masking pain and continuing to eat are evolutionary adaptive measures which have progressed the species over time - your dog has become wired to not show too much pain.

So what can you do? In cases such as these, preventative measures are simply the best. When you're in, we'll advise you on some great tips and tricks to establish a regular homecare routine.

At some point you need to make the decision to have your pet’s teeth cleaned. Cleaning saves teeth, heals red inflamed gums that are painful and freshens breath. Pet’s teeth can only be 100% cleaned with a sedative or alternatively general anesthesia. Awake, they simply will not accept a metal instrument under the gums or around the entire tooth and this is exactly where the most important scaling happens – under the gums.

Non-sedation cleaning is incomplete, painful and frankly very stressful for your pet. Is anesthesia safe then for pets? Yes it is, with the monitoring that’s done and the anesthetics used today and the quick procedure that it is… it is very safe.

In our practice we prefer to professionally scale with a sedative only to achieve 100% cleaning. This means your pet is not under a general anesthesia, they are simply relaxed. We are also able to x-ray teeth as well to examine tooth roots and look for painful disease.

So getting your pet’s teeth cleaned is not a big ordeal. Cleaning prevents tooth loss and dental surgery (which is a big deal)!



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Thanks for reading!

From the desk of Dr. Stacey Gastis