Why Get Your Pet in for a Dental?

By: Dr. Groenewg, DVM

Pet Dental Procedure - Fairgrounds Animal HospitalMost pets have some degree of dental disease as early as age 2. Dental disease is the number 1 disease in dogs and cats, as it is so common in our pets. However, dental disease is often overlooked by owners, especially when it is at its mild stage.

How does dental disease occur? Disease starts by bacteria attaching to the edge of the enamel and forming a biofilm, or a microscopic meshwork of bacteria, within a day. This is called plaque. The tartar that you see on your pet’s teeth, is the secondary step of that plaque becoming calcified. Disease starts when that plaque gets up under the gums and creates an infection; seen as a slightly more red line along the edge of the gums where they meet the teeth. Left alone, this is a chronic infection in your pets mouth and will overtime cause worsening signs like bone and gum recession. This causes the roots of the tooth to be exposed. The roots are very sensitive and when exposed to disease, hot or cold temperatures, etc. It can be very painful for your pet.

This isn’t all. Studies have shown that even a mild chronic infection has influences on the rest of the body. Dental disease left alone can lead to other diseases such as liver disease, bone infections, heart disease, and arthritis, and has been shown to have a connection with Diabetes. Providing dental care to your pet can improve overall function of other organs and create an overall healthier animal.

It is important to note that small breeds are not the same as large breeds. Genetically, they are more predisposed to dental disease. At 1 year of age, many small breeds already have some bone loss from dental disease. It is important to get them in yearly for dental cleanings. Cats are also different than dogs and can have different disease processes in their mouths, so it is important not to forget about your cat’s mouth.

When you take your pet in to get their dental done, a deep cleaning is performed with an ultrasonic cleaner. This removes calculus and the plaque both above and below the gum line. It is important to get under the gum line to the tartar that we cannot see, as this is where dental disease starts.
You can learn what to expect for your pets dental consultation here and  what a dental procedure looks like from start to finish here.

 

 

Why You Should Care About Pet Dental Care

Pet Dental Care - Fairgrounds Animal HospitalDid You Know….

Dental disease is the number one health issue in pets, affecting 80% of dogs and 70% of cats. This is not surprising considering that most owners do not have a regular pet dental care routine.

Why Should You Care?

Poor oral hygiene doesn’t just cause bad breath; it can lead to tooth loss, painful abscesses, difficulty eating and other health problems including heart disease. A good pet dental care routine will keep help keep your pet healthy overall. Continue…

Some Heartfelt Facts About Dental Disease

Pet Dental Procedure - Fairgrounds Animal HospitalSo you’ve brought your dog in to see her veterinarian for an annual checkup, and he recommends that she has a dental prophylaxis or dental cleaning. You’re given an estimate for the procedure, and it’s almost $400! It seems so expensive, and you find yourself wondering, “Do I really need to spend the money on this? It’s just bad breath right?”

Well, it’s not just bad breath. Your dog can develop gum disease, which can lead to serious internal illnesses, especially heart disease.

Let’s discuss how it all goes down – how does your dog get gum disease, how does it lead to heart disease, and finally, what concerns come along with a pet with heart disease? Continue…