According to the Veterinary Dental Societies , 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have oral disease by the age of 3. It is the most frequently diagnosed health problem in pets. Common signs of oral disease include bad breath, tartar buildup, red and/or swollen gums, changes in eating or chewing habits, pawing at the face and generalized depression. Our smaller friends, like rabbits, guinea pigs, and chinchillas, can also develop serious dental disease for a variety of reasons. Symptoms such as abnormal facial swelling, decreased appetite or energy, weight loss, and drooling or bad breath maybe a sign of dental disease. Our veterinary staff are very experienced with a wide variety of pets and dental disease that is specific to them.
Our veterinarian will conduct a thorough evaluation of your pet’s dental health at least once a year during the annual health examination. We recommend this because bacteria, food debris may accumulates around a pet’s teeth and, if left unchecked, will lead to deterioration of the soft tissue and bone surrounding the teeth. This decay results in irreversible periodontal disease and even tooth loss. In rodents, overgrown or unevenly worn teeth can lead to ulcerations of the tongue or cheek tissue and tooth root infections.
Dental disease can affect other organs in the body: bacteria in the mouth can get into the blood stream and may cause serious kidney infections, liver disease, lung disease, and heart valve disease… no different than humans. Oral disease can also indicate that another disease process is occurring elsewhere in a pet’s body.
At your pet’s annual health exam and wellness testing, we can recommend and demonstrate preventative measures you can begin at home such as tooth brushing, wiping along the gumline with special dental wipes,or applying a special gel that helps reduce plaque accumulation. We also have a wide variety of dental diets and treats which can be integrated into your pet’s oral health routine to help keep them healthy.
Should your pet require more advanced dental care, we have a specialized digital dental x-ray unit that can assist us in identifying the degree of periodontal disease. This allows us to visualize dental pathology below the gumline such as resorbing tooth roots, fractured tooth roots, diseased jaw bones, and infections among other things. Dental x-rays are an important part of a comprehensive oral assessment, and will be recommended with any pet that has dentistry with any suspicion of tooth pathology and/or disease below the gum line.