When was the last time you looked at your pet’s teeth? According to the AVMA, pets who have never had a teeth cleaning have signs of dental disease by the time they are three years old. For that reason, Grand Avenue Veterinary Hospital recommends that all pets have a yearly oral examination and, if needed, a professional dental cleaning.
Gum Disease in Dogs and Cats
The process of dental plaque and tartar accumulation, and periodontal disease starts every time your pet eats. When your pet eats, food particles get on their teeth and gums. This fuels the bacteria in your pet’s mouth, causing an acid attack on the enamel of their teeth and creating a sticky, clear substance called plaque. If the plaque is left on teeth, it hardens into tartar within 48 hours. When plaque and tartar are left on your pet’s teeth for an extended period of time, it can lead to gingivitis, periodontal disease, and oral infections.
Signs of Dental Disease in Pets
When it comes to detecting potential oral health problems in pets, owners must be vigilant in noticing changes in behavior. This is because pets often do not act like they are in pain until the pain is severe. If you notice any of the signs below, it is important that you contact us to schedule a dental checkup, teeth cleaning and gum disease treatment.
- Broken or Loose Teeth
- Discomfort While Eating
- Extremely Bad Breath
- Bloody or Odorous Drool
- Red or Bleeding Gums
- Staining on the Teeth
- Swollen or Inflamed Gums
- Weight Loss or Loss of Appetite
The Hazards of Untreated Periodontal Disease in Pets
Untreated periodontal disease in dogs and cats can lead to dangerous infections, like abscesses and blood infections. Advanced dental disease may also affect your pet’s heart, liver and kidneys. In order to avoid these potentially life-threatening conditions, it is important to keep your pet’s teeth clean with a combination of at-home care, and regular professional oral assessments and cleanings.
Pet Dental Cleanings in West Des Moines
Grand Avenue Veterinary Hospital recommends that all dogs and cats receive dental examinations at least once a yea. Pet dental examinations include an examination of your pet’s head, neck, face, ears and mouth in order to check for signs of health problems.
Once the basic examination is complete, your veterinarian will determine if it's necessary to schedule an anesthetic procedure for x-ray assessment of your pet's teeth, and to completely clean all the plaque and tartar from your pet’s teeth and below the gum line. Once your pet’s teeth are clean, we can give you tips and tricks to help you slow down the return of plaque and tartar at home between professional pet dental cleanings, like pet-safe toothpaste and toothbrushes as well as dental chews, treats and other VOHC approved products.