2 Pets are not brushing or flossing on a daily basis, Most people don’t realize pet dental care is very important for the health of their pet.Pets are not brushing or flossing on a daily basis,so it’s up to us to take care of their dental needs.
3 We are looking for or taking note on: tarter build up broken teeth Routine wellness exams is when the veterinary care team will check the mouth and teeth.We are looking for or taking note on:tarter build upbroken teethCavitiesmissing teethsigns of infectiongingival diseaseabnormal growths or masses
4 Most cats and dogs by the age of 2 have some tarter build up. Tarter build up can lead to bad breath and redness of the gums.If left untreated bacteria can build up in the mouth and go into the blood stream.An overflow of bacteria in the blood stream can cause heart issues along with kidney and liver problems.If the tarter buildup gets too bad the bacteria can start eating away the enamel and cause cavities to occur.Your pet can also act like it doesn’t feel well, become lethargic,and have bleeding from the gums and stop eating.
5 So let’s look at what your pet’s teeth should look like. Healthy mouth of a dog.Healthy mouth of a cat.
6 Stage 1 Periodontal Disease Small amount of tarter on the teethGums look slightly red but are healthy looking.
7 Stage 2 Periodontal Disease Noticeable amount of tarterGums are red and inflamed at the gum line“doggie breath”.“Side chewing”Picking food up only to drop it out of the mouthTo quickly reverse the damage a dental intervention is needed
8 Stage 3 Periodontal Disease Significant amount of tarter pushing up the gum lineGums have started to recede, bleed, very inflamed and infectedPets usually start to show signs of pain and discomfortDental intervention is necessary to save the gums and any teeth
9 Stage 4 Periodontal Disease Significant loss of gum linePus oozing out of the gumsBone lossDropping food out of mouthDroolingAppetite loss
10 Stage 4 Periodontal Disease Bacteria will gone into the blood stream, affecting the heart, liver, and kidneys.There is a good chance that some teeth will have to be removed due to the destruction of bone and gum.
11 Other dental issues we see can be due to chewing on marrow bones, rocks, sticks, and hard toys.
12 Overgrowth of gums can cause issues too Overgrowth of gums can cause issues too. Food, hair, and bacteria can get stuck up under the gums leading to infection and tooth loss. This is resolved by removing the overgrowth either by cutting away or cauterizing the tissue.
13 Masses in the mouth should be examined. Melanoma can occur in the mouth. If left untreated it can spread to other organs.
14 The Smile Facts!Now that we know what we are looking for, let’s talk about how we address and treat routine and non-routine dental care.The first step is for a veterinarian to examine your pet’s mouth to help identify areas of concern. An oral exam in the room may not show all of the potential damage to the teeth if there is tarter present. Unlike people, our pets don’t always “open up and say, ahh”. The veterinary team will provide an estimate for your pet’s dental procedure based upon the doctor’s exam; including any potential extractions. If an infection is present we will have you start
16 On the day of the dental, pre-surgical blood work will be run to make sure there aren’t any problems with the kidneys and liver which are the organs that help metabolize (or process) the anesthesia.An IV catheter will be placed prior to anesthesia, and fluids will be given during the whole procedure.
17 The pet is then anesthetized, intubated with a tube, and placed on a combination of oxygen and isoflurane gas. Our professional staff not only utilizes state of the art monitoring, which measures heart rate, oxygen levels, blood pressure, and body temperature, but are personally monitoring your pet every step of the procedure. All of this information is then recorded and put into the patient’s record.
18 The dental procedure starts with a photo of your pet’s teeth before cleaning. An after photo will be taken for comparison. The doctor then performs an ultrasonic cleaning to scale the tarter off, including up under the gum line.
20 Once all the tarter is removed we can then see any damage present on the enamel or gums. It also allows us to carefully inspect the mouth for any potentially hidden concerns, such as masses, broken teeth, etc.
21 We do our best to salvage teeth when possible, but sometimes extraction is necessary, particularly if there is irreversible damage due to nerve or root exposure.
22 The teeth are then polished and the mouth is rinsed out. PolishingThe teeth are then polished and the mouth is rinsed out.An after photo is taken.
23 The pet is then removed from gas anesthesia and allowed to breathe oxygen for a few minutes. Once the pet is able to swallow on its own the tube is removed from its mouth and the animal is placed in a recovery kennel where our technicians carefully monitor until fully awake.
24 She would be classified as a stage 2 dental. Before and After…Here is a patient of ours that came in a month ago for a routine dental.She would be classified as a stage 2 dental.
25 As you can see in her after photo, the teeth cleaned up well and no extractions were needed.
26 This photo shows a Pomeranian with stage 4 dental disease This photo shows a Pomeranian with stage 4 dental disease. He had already lost several teeth on his upper gum.
27 Unfortunately he needed all his teeth removed except the lower canine due to severe gum and bone loss and infection.
28 Brushing at home starts with getting the pet used to you putting your finger and/or a brush in their mouth. Rubbing the teeth and gums gets them used to the sensation. After a few weeks of playing around you can then start with pet tooth paste. You cannot use human toothpaste in pets because it’s toxic to them.
29 Once you are comfortable with the process we recommend brushing at least twice a week. There are also mouth rinses available to help deter growth of plaque and bacteria. These are usually added to their drinking water.
30 As you can see, veterinary dentistry is significantly different than when you or I go to the dentist. Our cats and dogs may have similar anatomy to our own tooth structure, but they require special consideration since they must be anesthetized for proper cleaning and preventive care. As much as we recommend and promote daily tooth brushing for our pets, home care can be challenging for some and this is why routine wellness examinations and dental services are so important for the long-term health of your pet.