When it comes to caring for your pet's overall health, routine dental care is an important part. If oral issues are left untreated it can lead to other more serious conditions. Here our La Mesa vets talk about routine veterinary dental care for pets, why it is important and how often you should clean your dog's teeth.
Why Is Routine Dental Care & Teeth Cleaning Important?
It may not be something you have ever thought about, but the state of your dog's oral health is a key element of their overall health. Typically, by the age of 3 most dogs begin showing signs of periodontal disease (gum disease), which can have serious negative consequences for their physical health and wellbeing.
As with people, periodontal disease in dogs has been linked to heart disease (after the bacteria enters the bloodstream from the mouth) and damage to other organs, not to mention the pain that eroded gums can cause, and missing teeth.
At-home oral health care routines paired with dental treats can go a long way to helping your pooch to clean their teeth, as well as helping to control the buildup of plaque and tartar. Nonetheless, the best way to maintain your dog’s clean and healthy mouth is to visit the vet to have their teeth professionally cleaned.
Skipping annual professional dog dental cleaning could put your dog at risk of developing gingivitis, periodontal disease, bad breath, and in severe cases pain and tooth loss.
What Can I Do To Help Clean My Dog's Teeth?
Pet parents play a pivotal role in helping their pets fight dental disease. Here are a few easy ways that you can help to keep your dog's teeth clean and healthy:
- Use a finger brush from your vet, or a child’s toothbrush to brush your pet’s teeth daily to remove any plaque or debris.
- Use a plaque prevention product (your vet can recommend some), which you can apply to your pet’s teeth and gums. These products act as a barrier to prevent plaque buildup.
- Offer your pup treats such as dental chews or food designed to help prevent plaque buildup and tartar.
Are There Risks With Professional Teeth Cleaning For Dogs?
Any procedure performed under anesthesia comes with risks that's why our vets assess all pets to ensure that they are healthy enough to handle anesthesia and we conduct additional diagnostics if required to ensure that a dental exam while anesthetized is safe for your pet.
What To Expect At a Dog Dental Cleaning Appointment?
In order to help prevent your dog from developing tooth decay and periodontal disease, our La Mesa vets at Rancho Village Veterinary Hospital recommend bringing your dog in for veterinary dentistry at least once each year, or more frequently if they are suffering from more severe or recurring dental problems.
When you bring your dog to Rancho Village Veterinary Hospital for routine pet dental care our vets will perform a full oral examination for your pooch and check for signs of dental issues, such as:
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bleeding around the mouth
- Swelling or pain in or around the mouth
- Plaque or tartar buildup on teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Loose or Broken teeth
- Bad breath
If you detect symptoms of periodontal disease in your pet, such as reduced appetite (which can be an indication of tooth pain), abnormal chewing, drooling, dropping food from the mouth, bad breath or other symptoms be sure to contact your vet right away to schedule a dental appointment for your pet. Oral health issues can become severe if left untreated and cause your pet a great deal of pain and discomfort.
After your pet is safely sedated, your vet will perform a full tooth-by-tooth examination, complete with charting, (just like your dentist does during your examinations).
While we have your dog safely and comfortably under anesthesia, we will thoroughly clean and polish your pup's teeth, both above and below the gum line. We probe and x-ray the teeth, then to help protect against future decay and damage we use a fluoride treatment before applying a dental sealant to prevent plaque buildup.
If your pup is suffering from advanced periodontal disease, our La Mesa vets will work with you to develop a treatment plan to help restore your dog's mouth to a pain-free and healthy state.
How long does it take for a dog to recover from teeth cleaning?
All dogs are different but you can expect your dog to begin recovering from the anesthetic within a few hours, although in some cases it can take 24-48 hours to fully recover. During this time, your dog may seem drowsy and have a reduced appetite.
How much does dog teeth cleaning cost?
The cost of dog dental cleaning varies widely due to a number of factors including the size of your dog, the condition of your dog's teeth, where you live, and your individual vet. Contact your vet to get an accurate estimate for having your dog's teeth cleaned.
That said, more invasive and expensive procedures - and surgeries - could be avoided with regular veterinary dentistry. Regular pet dental care will allow your vet to take proactive steps to help avoid advanced tooth decay and gum disease that can lead to pain, tooth loss, and jaw deterioration.
Dog dental care is an essential part of your pet's overall health. Be sure to book your pet's annual dental appointment today, your dog will thank you.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.