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Why Pet Dental Care is Important to Your Pet's Health

Early signs of periodontal disease in dogs and cats are not always apparent to pet owners who know how much their pets dislike having their mouths forced open or their lips pulled away from their teeth. That's why your Fairhope veterinarian urges pet owners to make sure their pet receives annual teeth cleaning and other pet dental care services to reduce the risk of their pet suffering tooth decay, gum disease, and periodontitis.

dog getting teeth brushed by vet

Pet Dentistry Explained

Pet dentistry procedures performed by your Daphne veterinarian include cleanings to remove tartar and plaque, taking digital x-rays, tooth extractions when necessary and polishing rough enamel to remove enamel pits that could harbor oral bacteria. During a professional teeth cleaning, your vet will also examine your pet's gums and tongue for signs of infection or other abnormalities. Pets over five years old are prone to oral diseases and should have their owners brush their teeth with special pet toothbrushes and toothpaste in between dental cleanings at our veterinary clinic.

During a teeth cleaning, pets are given general anesthesia to facilitate the procedure. Your pet will not feel any pain nor will he experience stress and anxiety while under anesthesia. Following completion of teeth cleaning treatment, your pet will be awake within 15 to 20 minutes and ready to go home as soon as your veterinarian performs a quick examination of your pet's vital signs.

Why Periodontal Disease Can Impact Your Pet's Overall Health

Periodontitis not only causes tooth loss, cavities and gum disease but will also give your pet extremely bad breath that can be detected even when your pet's mouth is closed. Destructive oral bacteria can also accumulate under your pet's gums where they rapidly destroy gum and bone tissue that provide support for teeth.

Additionally, your veterinarian in Fairhope wants pet’s owners to know that oral bacteria responsible for periodontitis can infiltrate the animal's bloodstream via abscesses and travel to the liver, kidneys, and heart. In fact, serious blood infections and organ diseases could affect pets with periodontal bacteria contaminating their bloodstream.

Signs your pet may need emergency pet dental care include:

  • Loss of appetite (loose teeth and cavities often make it painful for pets to eat and drink)
  • Drooling, especially when blood is mixed with saliva
  • Whimpering for no apparent reason
  • Swelling around the mouth

Animals with periodontitis may also sleep more than usual and run a low-grade fever if the bacteria has entered their bloodstream. Your Fairhope veterinarian will perform a blood test and oral examination if she suspects your pet is suffering a systemic infection caused by periodontitis.

Contact Your Fairhope Animal Clinic

If your pet has never had their teeth and gums examined and cleaned, please call Colony Animal Clinic today to schedule a teeth cleaning for your pet or to learn more about pet dental care: (251) 928-7728.