DOG & CAT ORAL CARE
Why should I brush my dog's or cat's teeth?
removal of plaque is the key to an oral hygiene program. Unless your pet's
teeth are brushed daily, plaque, which is an accumulation of bacteria, will
build up at the gum line. Eventually, calculus (tartar) forms, further
irritating the gums and infection progresses to loosen and destroy the
attachment of the tooth. In addition to loose teeth, infection under the gum
line can spread to the liver, kidneys, and heart.
How can I brush my animal's teeth?
the teeth may be difficult when you first start, but with a lot of persistence
and positive reinforcement for you and your pet, it can be accomplished and it
will get easier. Although it might be a
bit tricky to get the teeth brushed, the health benefits for your pet are well
worth it. The first step is to pick a
soft-bristled, or finger toothbrush. Next,
get enzymatic toothpaste from your veterinarian. Do not use human toothpaste
because it has detergents that should not be swallowed.
How often does my pet need to have teeth cleaned by the
frequency of periodontal cleanings for your pet depends on the degree of plaque
and tartar accumulation. It is
recommended that on a monthly basis, you examine your pet's teeth to look for
an accumulation of yellow or brown material at the area where the tooth meets
the gum line. Once you notice plaque or
tartar accumulation, it is time for a professional cleaning.
to the tartar is bacteria irritating the gum tissues. When treated, the
inflammation will resolve. When gingivitis is left untreated, it will progress
to periodontitis, which is non-curable.
intervals between teeth cleaning procedures will depend on the amount of oral
care provided at home, and of course genetics.
Some animals are just genetically more likely to have tartar and
gingivitis than others. Small breed dogs
for instance tend to accumulate plaque and tartar faster than large breed dogs.
If you cannot brush the teeth, then there are other products available to aid
in prevention of tartar and plaque accumulation. Brushing your pets teeth
is the gold standard!
Can I just take my fingernail or a dental scaler to remove the tartar?
disease occurs below the gum line. If you use your finger nail to remove the
tartar from the tooth, you are not removing the disease below the gum line. In
order to thoroughly help your pet, plaque and tartar must be removed from below
the gum line during a dental cleaning.
Do you have to use anesthesia to clean my pet's teeth?
is necessary when performing teeth cleaning. Anesthesia provides three
important functions: immobilization in order to clean below the gum line, pain
control, and the ability to place a tube into the windpipe, so bacterial
products do not enter the respiratory system.
I am concerned about the anesthesia. Is it safe?
every effort to ensure your pet?s safety during an anesthetic procedure. We use
the safest of anesthetic agents, and all animals have a pre-anesthetic blood
panel prior to any anesthesia being administered. Finally all animals are monitored while
anesthetized. Please refer to the Surgical FAQ's page for more information on anesthesia.
What is involved in the teeth cleaning at your hospital?
teeth cleaning has 19 separate procedures performed:
1. general exam before anesthesia
2. pre-operative bloodwork
3. pre-operative antibiotic injection
4. preemptive pain management
5. general anesthesia
6. intravenous fluids
7. oral rinse with a chlorhexidine oral rinse
8. removal of plaque and tartar above the gumline
9. removal of plaque and tartar below the gumline
12. probe and explore
13. complete dental charting
14. dental x-rays if needed
Oral surgery if needed
16. Treatment plan
17. anesthetic recovery
18. home care
19. follow up
much does a dental cleaning procedure cost?
impossible to quote over the Internet what the procedure will cost because we
do not know the status of your pet's teeth and gums. There are four levels of
teeth cleanings at our hospital. Fee range is based on severity plus costs for
preoperative testing, anesthesia, necessary therapy, and medication. The doctor
or staff will be happy to give you an estimate once you bring your dog or cat
in for an examination.
What is best to feed my pet?
food will help remove plaque from teeth. There are special diets specifically
manufactured to help keep dogs and cats teeth clean. Feeding the special diets
in conjunction with daily brushing is the best to keep the teeth clean. Diet
alone will not control plaque, but it will help.
What toys should I avoid to protect my pet's teeth?
on objects harder than the tooth may lead to dental fractures. Be especially
careful with cow and horse hoofs. They commonly cause fractures of the upper
fourth premolars. Tug-of-war games must not be practiced, especially in young
dogs and cats to avoid moving growing teeth to abnormal locations.
What are cat cavities?
cats get painful lesions at the gum line, which invade teeth. They are properly
referred to as Feline Oral Resorptive Lesions (FORLS). Unfortunately we do not
know what causes FORLS, and the most effective treatment involves extraction of
the affected tooth pending dental x-rays.
can I tell if my pet is suffering from periodontal disease?
Breath: this is the leading sign that there is an infection in the mouth
food from the mouth
to the food bowl, but not eating
change in chewing or eating habits
your pet displays any of these signs, serious periodontal disease may be
present. A thorough periodontal therapy and possible oral surgery will be
necessary to control this condition.
are the causes of periodontal disease?
|Plaque is a colorless film that contains large amounts of bacteria.
If left unchecked, plaque builds up, creating infection, destroying gums and
resulting in the loss of the tissues and bone that support the teeth.
Preventative oral care can reduce the formation of plaque and help maintain
proper oral health throughout your pet's life.
What type of tests are done to diagnose dental disease?
periodontal disease is present or if your pet has a fractured tooth, an oral
exam is performed while under anesthesia. A periodontal probe is used to
evaluate bone loss around each tooth. X-rays are taken to evaluate if the teeth
can be saved or need to be extracted.
When do I have to start worrying about dental problems with my
as puppy or kitten teeth emerge, its time to start brushing. Although baby
teeth are replaced with adult teeth, the puppy or kitten gets used to the
brushing procedure which continues for life.
What can be done if my pet has periodontal disease?
disease occurs when tooth support structures are affected by infection. In the
beginning stages, cleaning above and below the gum line as well as removal of tartar
attached to the tooth will help restore periodontal health. In advanced cases,
either periodontal surgery or extractions are performed. In some cases antibiotics
given monthly will also help to control the progression of periodontal disease.
What are contributing factors for periodontal disease?
Poor oral hygiene: ignoring
the condition of your pet's mouth can lead to periodontal disease, tooth
loss and other health problems.
- Breed: Periodontal disease is
more common in smaller breeds of dogs and certain breeds of cats.
- Age: Periodontal disease is
more common as pets grow older.
What are the treatments of
You should look for warning signs of
oral disease. Common indications include bad breath, a change in
eating or chewing habits, pawing at the face or mouth, and
depression. If any of these signs are present, your pet should be
taken to your veterinarian for an oral exam.
- You can reduce the risk of oral
disease. The first step in preventing oral disease is a routine
physical exam, including an oral exam.
- You should practice a regular oral
care regiment at home. This may include brushing your pet's teeth
with enzymatic toothpaste.
- You should schedule regular follow
up care with your veterinarian and ask about the different specially
formulated foods and other products that are proven to help prevent plaque
and tartar buildup.
What can you do to fix a broken tooth?
your dog or cat breaks its tooth, there are two treatments: root canal therapy
or extraction. You cannot leave the tooth alone with an exposed nerve. In
addition to pain, infection will soon develop that can spread to the rest
of your pet's body.
- Periodontal disease is the most
prevalent disease among dogs and cats.
- An astounding 80% of dogs and cats
show signs of oral disease by age 3, according to the American Veterinary
Dental Society (AVDS).
- Periodontal disease is common in
dogs of smaller breeds because dogs' teeth often are too large for their
mouths, forcing the teeth closer together.
- Dogs start out with 28 deciduous
(baby) teeth; cats start out with 26 deciduous teeth. By 6 months of
age, these baby teeth fall out and are replaced by permanent teeth, 42 in
the dog and 30 in the cat.
- Broken teeth are a common problem
for dogs, especially among outdoor dogs. According to veterinary
dental experts, aggressive chewing on hard objects is a primary cause of
broken teeth in dogs.
- Odontal clastic resorptive lesions
are the most common tooth disease in domestic cats. Studies show
that about 28% of domestic cats develop at least one of these painful
lesions during their lifetime.
Please visit www.petdental.com for
even more oral care information.
Stages of Periodontal
of tissues that support the tooth and includes: gingiva, periodontal
ligament, cementum, and alveolus.
inflammation of the gingival tissue only. Gingivitis is reversible! The
goal is to cure the symptoms.
an active disease state of the periodontium. Periodontitis is
irreversible! The goal is to control the symptoms.
Level 0- Normal Healthy
Level 1- Gingivitis ONLY- REVERSIBLE
Level 2- Early periodontitis- IRREVERSIBLE
Level 3- Established periodontitis- IRREVERSIBLE
Level 4- Advanced periodontitis- IRREVERSIBLE
The doctors will grade you pet's mouth based on the stage of periodontal disease
that is present. For Stages 1-4 periodontal therapy is needed to control
the process. Remember gingivitis is REVERSIBLE and can be cured
whereas periodontitis is IRREVERSIBLE,
but can be controlled.