Keeping your pet's teeth and gums healthy is a great way to improve overall health. Pet dental cleanings should be performed regularly to help stay ahead of any potential problems or diseases.
Why Is Pet Dental Care Important?
- A pet with healthy teeth equals a pet with better breath! If a whiff of your pet's breath makes your nose hairs curl, it's time for some good dental care.
- Prevent worsening dental disease. Because so many dogs/cats have dental disease by the time they're 3 years old, it can be difficult to prevent it from developing in the first place. However, you can prevent dental disease from becoming severe.
- Pets that don’t get dental care can lose their teeth – this can hurt terribly and cause serious health problems. It happens when the structures supporting teeth become damaged or infected. Good dental care will ensure that those teeth-supporting structures stay healthy and keep teeth in place.
- Dogs and cats are very good at hiding pain- you might never know that your pet has a serious dental problem until it’s very advanced.
- Prevent organ damage. Bacteria in tooth plaque can enter the bloodstream and spread to the heart, kidneys, and liver.
- Retained baby teeth can cause problems in pets too! Did you know that full-grown dogs have 42 teeth and full-grown cats have 30 teeth? Before their adult teeth grow in, their baby teeth have to fall out. Sometimes, not all of the baby teeth want to come out. This can lead to problems like gum irritation and tartar buildup.
What Goes into a Teeth Cleaning?
A dental exam to confirm that a dental cleaning is needed is the first step. During a dental cleaning, pets are put under light anesthesia. Anesthesia is important to allow a tooth-by-tooth examination including dental X-rays. Built up tartar and plaque are removed, and teeth polished. If a broken or diseased tooth is detected, a tooth extraction may be necessary.