Dental Health and Home Care

Dental Facts:

  • Periodontal disease is one of the most common medical conditions seen by veterinarians.
  •  More than 85% of dogs and cats older than four years have periodontal concerns.
  •  One milligram of plaque contains over one trillion potentially disease-causing bacteria.
  •  By keeping up with your pets dental care, you can extend their life expectancy by 3-5 years.

What is that Smell?

  •  What is halitosis? Halitosis, also called bad breath, is an offensive odor emanating from the oral cavity.
  • What causes halitosis? The most common cause of halitosis is periodontal disease caused by plaque (bacteria).
Severe periodontal disease causing halitosis

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is inflammation of some or all of the tooth’s support structures (gingiva, cementum, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone). Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria.

The Hidden Effects of Dental Disease

• The discomfort in your pet’s mouth may lead to the inability to chew food or reluctance to eat. • Behavioral problems may occur (biting,hiding, marking, irritability etc). • Bacteria from the mouth can travel through the bloodstream affecting vital organs such as the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys.

Common Myths

  • Dental cleanings are purely cosmetic
  • Dogs and cats do not feel pain the way people do
  • Dogs’ and cats’ mouths are cleaner than humans’
  • Anesthesia-free dental cleanings are as effective as anesthetic cleanings

Where Do You Begin?

  • Have your veterinarian assess your pet’s mouth
  • Your veterinarian will be able to tell you if a professional cleaning is in order.
  • If a cleaning is not needed then home care will be discussed

The Differences Between a Dental Cleaning with Anesthesia vs. Anesthesia Free

  • All surfaces of the teeth are cleaned
  • Can clean sub gingivally
  • Can provide thorough charting of all the teeth
  • Able to take full mouth radiographs
  • Can provide all treatment at once i.e. if there are extractions
  • More safe for the technician, as the animal is unable to bite
  • Can adequately polish teeth to prevent cavities and other problems
  • Able to clean the outside of the teeth only
  • Can only clean the crown
  • Unable to adequately chart all teeth
  • Unable to take dental radiographs
  • May cost more money in the long run if the animal needs further treatment under anesthesia
  • Not safe, can be bitten by animal
  • Can damage tooth or gum if animal moves

Porphyromonas Vaccine

  • Preventative vaccination against the three most common bacterial causes of periodontal disease.
  • As this is a preventative vaccine, it must be done as a puppy or after a dental prophylaxis.
  • Initially, two boosters need to be given three to four weeks apart and then annually for protection.
  • Recommended for small breed dogs, predisposed breeds and at-risk dogs.

Home Care

  • Oxyfresh
  • Maxiguard Gel
  • Brushing Teeth
  • C.E.T. Chews
  • Oravet Sealant
  • Tartar Shield Chews

Sources American Animal Hospital Association

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