Pet Dental Care is More Than Just a Mouth Issue
While dental care focuses mainly on the teeth and gums, its benefits are not limited to the mouth. Oral health is just as important for our pets as it is for us because poor oral hygiene affects not only the mouth but also other parts of the body. Advanced dental disease can lead to heart, liver, or kidney disease. At Companion Animal Hospital Kenosha, we offer comprehensive pet dental care services to treat and prevent dental disease and keep your pet healthy and happy.
What is Dental Disease?
Dental disease develops gradually as plaque and tartar accumulate on the teeth. If this buildup is not cleaned away, it can spread under the gums and infect not only the gum tissue but the tooth roots as well.
Common signs of dental disease in pets include:
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Red, swollen gums
- Loose teeth
- Brown/yellow teeth (indicates significant buildup)
- Heavy drooling
- Dropping food (pain while eating)
- Rubbing or pawing at the face and mouth
- Decreased activity
- Decreased interest in chewing or playing
How Can You Prevent Dental Disease?
The best dental disease prevention requires a two-sided approach. On the professional side, your pet should see their veterinarian yearly for a checkup. If your veterinarian recommends a dental cleaning, you should schedule the procedure as soon as possible.
Steps for a Professional Dental Cleaning
Our pet dental care procedures include the following steps:
- Since all dental cleanings require that patients be under general anesthesia, we need to perform an exam and pre-dental blood work before your pet’s procedure.
- Once your pet is fully sedated, we conduct a thorough periodontal exam. This means checking each tooth and examining the gums and pockets around the teeth for damage and infection. More important, we need to take digital, full-mouth X-rays to help us detect problems hidden under the gum line.
- We chart all of our exam findings and extract any teeth that are damaged or decayed beyond repair.
- Next, we perform a dental cleaning with scaling tools to effectively remove hardened tartar from the teeth, both above and below the gum line.* We also polish the enamel surfaces of the teeth to smooth away roughness and prevent plaque and bacteria from attaching.
*Most oral problems are found below the gum line, where oral rinses and toothbrushes can’t reach.