An animal’s mouth is not just for eating; they use their tongue and teeth for functions such as grooming, grasping and chewing as well. This is why we encourage proper oral care throughout their lives! An evaluation of your pet’s dental health will be performed at the time of the annual examination. We will recommend and demonstrate preventative measures you can begin at home. These include Prescription Dental Diets with specially formed kibble that clean teeth while your pet eats, pet-approved toothpaste and brushing, or water additives that can help prevent bacteria build up (plaque). These preventative procedures can be very important as 70 – 80% of cats and dogs have oral disease by the age of three (American Veterinary Dental Society). This is the most frequently diagnosed health problem in pets.
The wellness program emphasizes how to avoid costly dental procedures; however, professional scaling and polishing is needed from time to time. Certain small breeds such as Shih Tzus and Yorkshire Terriers are predisposed to dental disease and may require several professional dental cleanings throughout their lifetime to help maintain optimal health.
Dental disease can also affect other organs in the body. Bacteria in the mouth can circulate through the blood stream and potentially cause serious kidney, liver, lung and heart valve infections and hence compromise your pet’s overall health. Depending on the severity of the disease, our veterinarians may require their patients to begin a course of antibiotics before a dental cleaning to avoid this problem.