Dental disease is one of the most prevalent diseases we see in our dogs and cats. Dental disease is more than just the inconvenience of bad breath in our pets, it can lead to oral pain and disease in other areas of the body.
Dental plaque and tartar (the tan stuff on the teeth) can harbor bacteria which can then in turn infect the periodontal pocket- the pocket between the gum and the tooth. When infection develops in this space, it can lead to loss of attachments for the tooth and local bone loss. Both of these can be very painful for your pet.
Anesthesia free dental cleanings are not able to address the infection in the periodontal pocket. This is an uncomfortable area to clean for our pets’ and can only be done under general anesthesia. Anesthesia free dental cleanings can remove some of the tartar and plaque on the teeth, but they can not address the more serious problem of infection in the periodontal pocket.
Infection in the periodontal pocket (periodontitis/periodontal disease) can lead to local infections and pain, but they can also lead to problems elsewhere in the body. The bacteria can localize to the heart and liver causing disease in these organs. The bacteria can also lead to problems in the kidneys. Maintaining good oral health and preventing periodontal disease is important to the overall health of your pet. The best way to address periodontal disease is to treat the bacteria above and below the gums. This done with a dental cleaning under general anesthesia
Often times, we don’t realize the amount of pain our pets are in as a result of dental disease. There is usually a slow onset to the dental disease and pain, that can go unnoticed by the pet owner. I can’t tell you how many clients have told me how much better their pets feel after a dental cleaning. Their energy levels are greatly improved as well as improved interactions with the family and better eating habits. Plus the minty fresh breath makes those kisses so much better!
Contact us today to schedule your pet’s dental cleaning. If you are unsure if your dog or cat is in need of a dental cleaning, one of our veterinarians is happy to do an oral exam to evaluate your pet’s oral health.