Dangers of Periodontal Disease
Dentistry is an important aspect of any pet’s health and well-being. Dental disease (or periodontal disease) is the number one cause of heart disease but can also affect other organs such as kidneys, liver and lungs. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, more than 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have dental disease by the age of 3. Studies have shown that dogs with sever microscopic damage in their kidneys, heart muscle and liver than do dogs with less severe periodontal disease.
Common signs of dental disease include:
- Yellow or brown buildup (tartar) on the teeth
- Bad breath (Halitosis)
- Excessive drooling
- Reluctance to chew or change in chewing
- Decreased appetite
- Pawing at the face
- Discolored, loose or broken teeth
- Swelling around the face or jaw
It is important to keep in mind that your pet may not show signs of dental problem. It is an innate instinct for our pets to not show signs of weakness in “the pack.” In the wild, a weak animal is easy prey for predators. Because of the severe risks of a “bad mouth”, dental hygiene is a very important aspect of your pet’s health. People know how painful dental problems can be-why should our pets feel the same without treatment?
Dental Cleaning & Services
Most pets will need a dental cleaning every six to twelve months. While your pet is here for their annual wellness, our doctors will examine the teeth. At this time, a cleaning may be recommended. However, we offer free dental exams at any point if there are concerns regarding oral health.
At Creekside Veterinary Clinic, we offer dental cleaning packages based on the severity of your pet’s mouth. These packages include cleaning and polishing the teeth, a complete oral exam while under anesthesia, dental radiographs of the whole mouth, surgical IV fluids and anesthesia monitoring.
Before & After Examples
Many owners are concerned about anesthesia safety and their pets. While complications can arise with any anesthesia, we strive to make any anesthetic procedure as safe as possible for our patients. If an animal is over the age of 4 years or has severe periodontal disease, we require pre-anesthetic bloodwork. Bloodwork includes a CBC which looks at red blood cells and white blood cells and a chemistry panel which looks at kidney and liver values. Anesthesia protocols can be adjusted to fit your pet’s needs if bloodwork shows abnormalities. Your pet will be on IV fluids during the duration of the procedure; IV fluids help maintain anesthesia while also flushing bacteria during the dental procedure. During anesthesia, your pet will be closely monitored.
Dental cleanings are the gold standard for oral; however, there are home care options available. There are many different chews, oral rinses and tooth brushing options available on the market. We recommend looking for the VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council) seal on any dental product. http://www.vohc.org/index.html