At Cheshire Crossing Animal Hospital, the doctors and staff consider dental health to be a top priority. A thorough examination of the mouth with emphasis on the teeth and gums is an integral part of every pet’s physical exam.
Disease of the gum tissue, known as periodontal disease, affects 85% of adult dogs and cats. Left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to pain, bad breath, and tooth loss. Over time, chronic bacterial infection of the mouth can lead to disease in other parts of the body such as the heart and kidneys.
We all know that caring for our own teeth involves frequent brushing, flossing, and rinsing. And while we may have the very best technique for our own dental health, we also know we should visit a dentist for a professional cleaning at least once a year.
Unlike their human companions, dogs and cats often receive very little dental home care. The occasional bone and crunchy kibble are no substitute for the toothbrush. This is why it is very important for our pets to have their teeth cleaned and examined by their veterinarian on a regular basis.
As pets don’t sit perfectly still, say “ahh” and swish and rinse on command, it is necessary for them to be fully anesthetized for their dental cleaning. Once a pet is anesthetized, a thorough and complete examination of the mouth, teeth and gums is performed. Digital dental x-rays are then taken and evaluated by the veterinarian. These x-rays allow us to see the teeth both above and below the gum line. Any teeth that are infected or have severe breaks are typically extracted. Healthy teeth are cleaned with an ultrasonic scaler and then polished. Finally, the teeth are treated with fluoride and sealed with an electrostatic barrier produce called OraVet.
Preserving the investment of the dental cleaning is important to your pet’s health as well as your wallet. That is why we have all dental patients return two weeks following their procedure to meet with a registered veterinary technician. Together you will go over ideas for dental home care and put together a plan that is best for your pet.
We have a wide variety of products to help with this mission. We are huge fans of brushing, but ofcourse that is not always an option. That is why we have antibacterial rinses, wipes and gels available as their application may be a little easier for both you and your pet. Chewing is another approach for oral health. Using dental diets for main meals or even treats is a great choice. Another excellent option are dental chews that contain an antibacterial product called chlorhexidine. Whatever your choice for home care, remember that ANY contribution you make to your pet’s oral health is a SIGNIFCANT contribution.
If you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s current dental health, please contact us to schedule an appointment. We’ll be happy to put together a customized treatment plan.