Considering a professional teeth cleaning for your dog? In this post, our Huntersville vets share how it’s done and why you should do it.
Why should I have my dog's teeth cleaned?
Just like us, a dog’s dental health is linked with his overall physical health. Unfortunately, periodontal disease starts to impact many dogs within their first few years. This can result in grave negative consequences for their physical health and wellbeing.
While implementing an at-home oral care routine (and perhaps pairing it with dental treats or chews) is important in that it helps control plaque and tartar buildup, visiting the vet regularly for a professional cleaning is the best way to keep your dog’s mouth clean and healthy.
Without this yearly cleaning, plaque develops on the teeth. This can lead to bad breath, gingivitis, periodontal disease and - in severe forms - tooth loss. In addition, this can have very real consequences for your pooch’s overall health, as periodontal disease can lead to heart disease (after the bacteria gets into the bloodstream via the mouth, it can infect other organs).
Which steps will my vet take during a professional teeth cleaning?
We recommend scheduling an annual dental appointment for your dog, and bringing them in more frequently if they are prone to dental problems.
Your veterinarian will complete an exam, looking for signs of dental problems, such as:
- Loose or broken teeth
- Extra teeth or baby teeth that have been retained
- Discolored teeth
- Bad breath
- Swelling, pain, or bleeding in or around the mouth
- Plaque or tartar buildup
You should also let your vet know if any symptoms such as abnormal chewing, drooling, dropping food from the mouth or reduced appetite (which may be a sign your dog is experiencing tooth pain).
This assessment will also determine whether your pet is healthy enough for anesthesia, then complete additional diagnostics if required. Once we have safely anesthetized your pet, we complete a full oral exam (tooth-by-tooth) and charting.
We will also clean and polish their teeth and under the gum line while they are safely under anesthesia. Each tooth is probed and radiographed, then a fluoride treatment is used. A dental sealant is applied to fight plaque. If advanced periodontal disease is identified, we create a treatment plan and review it with you.
How can I keep plaque off my dog’s teeth?
Pup parents have an important role in helping their furry friends fight dental disease. We recommend these tips for maintaining your dog’s excellent oral health:
- Brush your dog’s teeth daily and remove any debris or plaque with a finger brush.
- Use a plaque prevention product (your vet can recommend reputable ones) that you can apply to your pet’s teeth and gums. These products help prevent buildup of plaque.
- Provide dental chews, food or treats designed to help prevent plaque buildup and tartar.
Dental care is an essential part of your pet's overall health. Book your dog’ annual appointment if it is on your to-do list - your pup will thank you.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.
Is it time for your dog's annual cleaning? We provide complete dental care, including professional cleanings, x-rays and more. Book an appointment today.
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We're always accepting new patients, so contact our veterinary hospital today to book your pet's first appointment.
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