What really happens and why you should not ignore bad breath or
an apparent sore mouth.
- Statistics say that 70-80% of dogs and cats by the age of 3 have some degree of dental disease – once plaque and tartar accumulate on the teeth, or the gums start to get irritated, then a dental procedure should be performed.
- Dental cleanings in cats and dogs cannot be performed while they are awake – they are done under general anesthesia which is why we recommend doing pre-anesthetic bloodwork beforehand. These blood tests help us in determining if your pet is healthy enough to deal with the anesthetic – good kidney and liver function is just part of what we are assessing.
- The veterinarian will start the procedure by thoroughly examining the mouth and documenting any problems on your pet’s medical record.
- This will be followed by a thorough scaling of each tooth on all surfaces to get rid of any tartar present above and below the gum line. The tartar below the gum line causes the most dental disease, so it is important that it be removed.
- After scaling the teeth are then polished to remove any scratches present on the surface of the tooth and decrease the rate of future plaque build-up.
- Finally, we may apply fluoride to the teeth to decrease sensitivity, help strengthen the surface of the teeth and for its antibacterial purposes.
- If any teeth are found to be loose or diseased then they will likely need to be extracted. In many cases, a veterinarian will already have discussed this possibility and the procedures may be performed at the same time. ( We will discuss this procedure at a later posting)
- Once your pet has clean teeth then homecare is important in maintaining a clean mouth. Daily toothbrushing is the best to maintain a clean mouth but don’t use human toothpaste as the ingredients are not meant to be consumed and can be dangerous for pets. IF brushing is just not possible then there are other ways to help maintain oral health – come visit us at Middle Sackville Veterinary Care Centre to see what products or foods can suit your situation.
- Brushing your pet’s teeth needs to be started slowly – don’t expect them to love it at the start of this new routine. Feel free to discuss how to get started brushing your pet’s teeth – our staff will gladly talk procedure and products.