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Dental cleanings are a very important way of maintaining your pets health. Dental tartar is that yellow-brown accumulation on your pets teeth. This is mineralized plaque which is teaming with harmful bacteria. Dental tartar forms with age and as it accumulates along the gum line it begins to cause gingivitis. Gingivitis is red and inflammed gums that bleed easily. As gingivitis worsens disease spreads to the structures of the tooth below the gum line causing periodontal disease which eventually causes teeth to loosen and become painful. In addition, bacteria invade the surrounding bone leading to osteomyelitis (bone infection).
Gingivitis and periodontal disease not only cause your pet to have bad breath but more importantly it leads to infection in tissues of the mouth which can cause severe pain and tooth loss but bacteria can also spread to vital organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys causing those organs to not function properly. Senior pets with painful mouths also have problems eating and maintaining adequate nutrtition.
At every wellness exam we will inspect your pets teeth and gums. Recommendations will be made for dental cleanings if needed. Tips for proper nutritional support of teeth and at home cleaning tips will also be made.
Dental cleanings involve using an ultrasonic scaler to remove the plaque and tartar from each tooth. The ultrasonic waves kill bacteria and loosen the hardened tartar from all surfaces of the tooth above and below the gum line. After scaling each tooth, we will polish the teeth. Polishing smoothes the enamel out and removes any rough surfaces that plaque use to attach to the tooth. This will help keep the teeth white and clean for a longer period of time. Finally a fluoride treatment will be applied to all teeth. General anesthesia is required to allow these procedures to be performed. We use the safest anesthesia protocols for each individual animal. Most animals recover quickly and are ready to go home the same day.
After dental cleanings are performed we recommend using dental chews such as CET chlorhexidine rawhides or CET chlorhexidine oral rinse several times a week to prevent plaque and tartar build up.