Although cavities are less common in pets than in people, they can have many of the same dental problems that people can develop:
- broken teeth and roots
- palate defects (such as cleft palate)
- abscesses or infected teeth
- cysts or tumors in the mouth
- malocclusion, or misalignment of the teeth and bite
- broken (fractured) jaw
- periodontal disease
Periodontal disease is the most common clinical condition occurring in adult dogs and cats, and is entirely preventable. By three years of age, most dogs and cats have some evidence of periodontal disease. Unfortunately, other than bad breath, there are few signs of the disease process evident to the owner, and professional dental cleaning and periodontal therapy often comes too late to prevent extensive disease or to save teeth. As a result, periodontal disease is usually under-treated, and may cause multiple problems in the oral cavity and may be associated with damage to the kidney, liver and heart muscle as your pet ages.
It starts with plaque that hardens into tartar. Tartar above the gumline can often easily be seen and removed, but plaque and tartar below the gumline is damaging and sets the stage for infection and damage to the jawbone and the tissues that connect the tooth to the jaw bone. Periodontal disease is graded on a scale of 0 (normal) to 4 (severe).
The treatment of periodontal disease involves a thorough dental cleaning and x-rays to determine the severity of the disease. Your veterinarian will make recommendations based on your pet’s overall health and the health of your pet’s teeth, and provide you with options to consider.
This year for National Dental Health Month for the entire month of February we will be offering walk-in complimentary dental exams for our existing clients Tuesday-Thursday from 2-3 pm. As well as 15% off select dental products. This complimentary dental exam will allow your veterinarian to evaluate your pet’s dental health and make recommendations for dental procedures. Your pet will also receive a free dental health goodie bag at the end of their complimentary dental exam!