Preventive Dental Care
Routine dental care matters.
Classic “doggy breath” is not necessarily normal. Halitosis, or bad breath is the most common sign of dental disease. The major cause of halitosis is periodontal disease, which is an infection of the gums and potentially the other supporting structures of the teeth. Plaque builds up every day on the tooth surface including the at the gum line. Left in place, the plaque can mineralize, or harden, in less than 2 days, forming calculus or tartar. The continued build-up of tartar above and below the gum line can eventually produce an environment for certain types of bacteria that may be more destructive to the periodontal tissues and also produce a more noticeable odor.
During your pet’s exam, we will use grading system to help you better understand the level of disease in your pet’s mouth. Should we find any issues, such as evidence of gum or tooth erosion, gingivitis, or excessive plaque buildup, the doctor will discuss treatment options with you.
Symptoms of dental disease include:
- Yellowish-brown crust of plaque on the teeth near the gum line
- Red or swollen gum
- Pain or bleeding when your pet eats or when the mouth or gums are touched
- Decreased appetite or difficulty eating
- Cracked, broken or ground-down teeth
- Loose of missing teeth
Caring For Your Pet’s Teeth and Gums at Home
Brushing your pet’s teeth is the single most important procedure you can do to maintain good oral health. If performed regularly, brushing can dramatically decrease the incidence of gingivitis and can increase the interval between dental cleaning appointments. If brushing is not an option, there are several types of “chews” that can help reduce build-up. Ask us about these or look for treats certified by VOHC (Veterinary Oral Health Council).
Your Pet’s Dental Cleaning Include:
- Physical examination prior to anesthesia
- General Anesthesia and Patient Monitoring
- Ultrasonic scaling of the teeth above and below the gum line
- Polishing of the teeth to delay future tartar accumulation
- Fluoride Treatment and Antibacterial Flushing of the oral cavity
Call us at (406) 255-0500 to schedule your pet’s oral health assessment or dental cleaning.