Why is it important to have your pets teeth cleaned?

Neglecting annual professional cleaning could put your dog at risk of developing gingivitis, periodontal disease, bad breath and, in severe cases, pain, tooth decay and tooth loss. The vet recommends that you clean your teeth, but it's expensive and I've avoided it. Is it necessary for your health? Terry, Redwood City A. Good dental care is just as important for animals as it is for people.

Chronic dental disease can cause pain, tooth loss, and bone loss. In addition, long-infected teeth and gums are known to cause stress on vital organs and can definitely shorten life. When done correctly and under the right conditions, a dental cleaning without anesthesia can be a valuable part of an overall dental care program. Suitable candidates are pets with mild tartar and gingivitis and no signs of serious underlying dental problems.

A non-anesthetic cleaning should be performed under direct veterinary supervision and by highly trained professionals to be safe and effective. Don't schedule a dental cleaning at a pet store or hairdresser. When there is a more advanced dental disease or more serious problems are found during a non-anesthetic cleaning, a dental procedure with complete anesthesia is required. If done correctly, general anesthesia is very safe for pets.

Anesthesia is needed to perform a deep clean and get full dental x-rays. All teeth are evaluated by your veterinarian and it will be determined if extractions are necessary. Once your pet's teeth are cleaned, it's important to keep them following the steps outlined above. The better the preventive care you receive, the fewer anesthetic dental procedures needed in your pet's life.

A dental cleaning without anesthesia every 6 to 12 months is a very effective part of your pet's dental care plan after a dental procedure with complete anesthesia. Not only is prevention the best way to improve your pet's health, but it's also much more cost-effective in the long run. Now go out and start brushing. We invite you to use our feedback platform to participate in revealing conversations about our community's issues.

We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or material that is illegal, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent, or otherwise objectionable to us, and to disclose any information necessary to comply with law, regulation or government application. We may permanently block any user who abuses these conditions. For example, if you brush your dog's teeth regularly, give him dry food, or a dental diet, these precautions can help in extended periods between professional cleanings. Dogs with short faces and noses, such as pugs, bulldogs and shih tzus, are more at risk of dental disease because they are prone to deformed permanent teeth, which gives more places for oddly shaped tartar and tooth roots to hide that can predispose them to endodontic disease.

You should also inform your veterinarian if there are any symptoms, such as abnormal chewing, drooling, dropping food from the mouth, or decreased appetite (which may be a sign that your dog is experiencing toothache). Benefits of routine dental hygiene include reduced bad breath, improved overall health, decreased pain, increased longevity, and reduced pet health care bills in the future. Now that you know why it's important for your dog to clean their teeth and do dental work under anesthesia, take an important moment to learn what you can do to make anesthesia safer for your pets. Your veterinarian may recommend a plaque prevention product, a substance that is applied to your pet's teeth and gums on a weekly basis.

Veterinary anesthesia specialists provide onsite anesthetic care and support for pets throughout the Pacific Northwest, and offer consulting and training to veterinary professionals across the country. Unlike people, dogs don't sit still to clean their teeth, so veterinarians recommend general anesthesia for your dog while undergoing a dental procedure. It is important to take your pet to your veterinarian for annual check-ups to evaluate the teeth and decide what is the best plan for your pet's dental care. Small dogs need to clean their teeth more often than larger dogs because their teeth, relative to the mouth, are large, which causes overcrowding.

If left untreated, dental disease can lead to more serious health complications, some of which can extend far beyond your pet's teeth. In a matter of days, minerals in saliva attach to plaque to form tartar, a hard substance that adheres to teeth. How often you should clean your dog's teeth also depends on lifestyle and dental health at home. Periodontal disease is a progressive disease of the supporting tissues surrounding teeth and the leading cause of early tooth loss.

The best way to prevent dental disease is to brush your pet's teeth regularly and receive special dental treats. Every pet is different, but in general, small breed dogs will need a full dental anesthetic annually and even every 6 months as they grow. . .

LaDonna Byrne
LaDonna Byrne

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