Dental Health Care
According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have oral disease by the time they are 3 years old. Dental disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem in pets. Common signs of oral disease can include bad breath, red and swollen gums, tartar buildup, changes in eating or chewing habits, pawing at the face and generalized depression. Many dogs and cats can have significant oral disease such as abscessed or fractured teeth without showing ANY outward signs of discomfort, even though oral disease is very painful for your pet.
At Westmount Animal Clinic we recommend that your pet’s dental health be assessed at least once a year since bacteria and food debris accumulates around pets 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 tooth loss as well as affecting the health of other organs in the body. Bacteria in the mouth can enter the blood steam causing serious kidney infections, liver disease, lung and heart disease. Oral disease can also indicate that another disease process is occurring elsewhere in a pet’s body. A thorough physical exam combined with appropriate in-house diagnostic laboratory work can determine if this is the case.
Just like people, pets require periodic dental cleaning and assessment. The procedure for cleaning your pet’s teeth (called a dental prophylaxis) is no different from that which we experience at our own dentist. The only difference is that our pets won’t sit still and keep their mouth open on command. A general anesthetic is therefore required in order to safely scale, probe, assess and polish all surfaces of all of the teeth. Our dental operatory allows us to treat a wide variety of dental disease as well as provide routine prophylaxis It includes a digital dental x-ray which helps us ensure your pet’s teeth are healthy above and below the gumline.
The keys to your pet’s oral health are professional veterinary dental care and good care at home. Too few pets receive both and most don’t receive either. You can change that today!