Preventive Pet Dental Care For Lasting Health
Does your pet have bad breath? While it may not seem like a serious issue, foul odor from the mouth is not normal at all. Bad breath could be a sign of dental disease, a condition that affects almost two-thirds of cats and dogs by the time they are three years old. At Greenville Animal Hospital, we offer pet dental care services that help to prevent and manage the effects of dental disease. Professional cleanings and home care such as toothbrushing can save your pet from this painful disease, and save your wallet from the cost of expensive treatments.
Signs of Poor Oral Health
When your pet eats, plaque builds up on their teeth, and if not removed, hardens into tartar (calculus). Tartar harbors bacteria, which break down your pet’s gums, the bone surrounding the teeth, and the roots below. When bacteria enters the bloodstream, it can affect the heart, liver, and kidneys, causing disease in these vital organs.
Signs that indicate your pet could have dental disease include:
- Bad breath
- Gingivitis (swollen, red gums)
- Discolored teeth (brown/yellow)
- Loose or broken teeth
- Heavy drooling
- Difficulty eating or dropping food
- Trouble picking up toys
Preventive Dental Procedures
Our dental services aim to prevent and manage dental disease. All of our dental procedures require anesthesia for your pet's safety. We also highly recommend pre-anesthetic blood work for all of our patients to ensure they have no underlying conditions that could affect anesthesia. During a professional dental procedure, we perform the following:
- A comprehensive oral examination, taking note of tartar buildup, gum health, broken or loose teeth, etc.
- Digital dental X-rays to analyze the health of teeth and roots below the gum line (most of each tooth actually sits below the gum line, so this step is essential)
- Ultrasonic scaling to remove built-up tartar
- Polishing of each tooth to discourage future plaque buildup
We also perform surgical extractions of broken or damaged teeth if needed. We’ll follow up with sutures to close the wound and provide appropriate pain management.
Continuing Prevention at Home
You can play an important role in pet dental care at home. Brushing your pet’s teeth is the single best way to prevent tooth decay, but there are other options as well. Schedule an appointment online or call us today at (616) 754-9633. We’ll be happy to assess your pet's oral health as well as give you advice and guidance on home dental care.