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Annual dental exams and cleanings are recommended to protect your pet from many health problems and help them maintain a healthy and clean mouth.
Pet dental care is necessary to control more than bad breath—the overall health and longevity of your dog or cat depends upon a regular pet dental care program.
While dogs and cats do not typically get cavities, they can suffer greatly from periodontal disease. Commonly referred to as gum disease, this is caused by bacteria forming on the teeth and infecting the gums and surrounding tissue. Eventually, this infection moves to the bloodstream and causes heart, liver, and kidney disease in pets.
Symptoms of periodontal disease include bad breath, swollen or bleeding gums, pawing at the mouth, difficulty in eating, loose or missing teeth, and weight loss or loss of appetite. Treatment includes antibiotics and frequent professional cleanings.
Prevention is the first line of defense against periodontal disease and its subsequent damage to internal organs. The pet experts of Naperville Animal Hospital recommend the following three-point preventative care plan for your pet:
—A complete pet dental examination beginning around age 1
—Pet dental cleaning under anesthesia includes ultrasonic tooth scaling, polishing, and fluoride treatment
Home pet dental care
—Diet, chew toys, and regular brushing at home
Veterinary dental exams and cleaning are performed under general anesthesia by your veterinarian for a thorough exam and careful cleaning without stress to your pet. Naperville Animal Hospital uses the most advanced methods of anesthesia and monitoring for the comfort and security of each patient. Visit our Veterinary Surgery page for more about our state-of-the-art surgical program.
At the annual cleaning appointment, we discuss options for home dental care and demonstrate proper technique for brushing your pet’s teeth. For your convenience, we offer pet owners these helpful handouts to download and print:
Your pet’s annual dental exam and cleaning provides an excellent opportunity to review the optimum diet for oral hygiene and the value of chew bones for dogs. Special diets and chew bones, as well as other dental care products, are available through our in-hospital pet pharmacy. Discuss these pet dental care options at your next visit.
The professionals at Naperville Animal Hospital are committed to the prevention and treatment of periodontal disease in every patient. Contact our office for questions about pet dental care or to schedule your appointment today.
For more help in this area, you may enjoy the WebMD Pet Health website, which offers a video demonstration in How To Brush Your Dog’s Teeth and the comprehensive article Ten Steps to Cat Dental Health.
In addition, various organizations offer in-depth information on this subject, such as the American Veterinary Dental College and the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry.