Dental disease is a common problem affecting our beloved pets. It is estimated that 85% of adult dogs and cats have periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is plaque induced inflammation and infection of the mouth. This can cause spread of bacteria to other organs in the body such as the heart, kidneys and liver. Signs of dental disease include bad breath, problems with eating, pawing at the face, or just less energy.
The first part of the professional dental cleaning is dental X-rays. At Healthy Pets Animal Hospital, we have the capability to take digital dental X-rays. These X-rays enable us to evaluate your pet’s entire mouth-above and below the gumline and then we are able to determine a treatment plan for your pet. The next part of the dental cleaning is the removal of the plaque and tartar from your pet’s teeth. This is accomplished by hand and ultrasonically scaling the teeth and scaling below the gumline. The teeth are further evaluated by using a periodontal probe to check for pockets and for “holes” (furcations) of the teeth. The teeth are then polished. Polishing the teeth will smooth the surface of the teeth, which in turn decreases plaque retention and slow the formation of tartar. The final step involves applying fluoride to the teeth, which helps to strengthen the enamel.
After the dental cleaning, the final step is developing a home care plan for you and your pet. There are a variety of products that can aid in slowing the progression of dental disease. These products include:
- Brushing – CET toothpaste-brushing is the best way to prevent dental disease
- Oral Rinses – CET oral rinse – oral antiseptic that reduces the bacteria in the mouth
- Gels – Maxi-guard gel, EFAC gel capsules – antibacterial effect
- Chews – Enzadent, CET Veggie Dental chews – mechanically disrupts plaque. (Note: Must be used under supervision)
- Specially formulated food – T/D, Royal Canin Dental Diet – abrasive mechanism
- Water additives – Aquadent