Just like people, pets need routine dental care to keep their mouths healthy and pain-free. Periodontal disease is a progressive condition that begins when plaque accumulates on your pet's teeth. This plaque can quickly calcify into tartar, which can spread beneath your pet's gum line leading to gum inflammation. The teeth can then become infected, loose, and even fall out.
Because the onset is usually gradual, periodontal disease is a problem that is often overlooked. However, periodontal disease can be prevented with routine dental care.
The AVMA recommends having your pet’s teeth checked if you observe any of the following problems:
- Bad breath
- Broken or loose teeth
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
- Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
- Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
- Pain in or around the mouth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth
At San Francisco Animal Medical Center, we offer the following comprehensive dental services:
- Routine teeth cleanings
- Dental radiographs (x-rays)
- Dental extractions (tooth removal) when needed
- Pain management during and after dental procedures
Call us today to learn more or to schedule your pet’s next wellness exam!
Tips and resources to manage your pet’s oral health
Most pet dental disease occurs below the gum line where you can not see it. Below are a few ways to help manage your pet’s oral health..
- Schedule a Dental Exam – Your pet’s teeth and gums should be checked at least once a year by your veterinarian. Especially if you find broken teeth, or your pet has difficulty eating or is in pain.
- Book a dental cleaning – We scale and polish the teeth, and evaluate each tooth for gum recession and mobility. This is performed under anesthesia to allow cleaning under the gum line and for dental radiographs to evaluate the roots of the teeth.
- Regularly Brushing – Brushing your pet’s teeth daily in between dental cleaning is highly effective and recommended. It can reduce the frequency and need for periodic dental cleaning by your vet.
- Consult your veterinarian - It is important to speak with your veterinarian about dental products, treats, and dental-specific diets before implementing them, as well as the best way to brush your pet's teeth.
From what to expect from your pet’s dental cleaning to how to brush your pet’s teeth at home, below are video resources to help you.