Good oral hygiene is crucial to your pet’s overall health. Periodontal (dental) disease doesn’t only affect your pet’s mouth, the bacteria can get into your pet’s bloodstream and affect important organs. Sadly dental disease is the main illness that veterinarians diagnose and majority of the cases are seen in pets as young as 3-years-old. To support your pet’s dental health they need regular dental cleanings and dental care at home.
How is dental disease diagnosed?
At our hospital we use digital X-rays to diagnose dental disease. X-rays allow us to see below the gum line which cannot be seen with the naked eye. To get accurate scans your pet needs to stay in one position so we may use anesthesia. We run diagnostics tests to determine how much anesthesia is safe for your loyal companion and we monitor their vital signs when they are unconscious.
What are common signs of dental disease?
Dental disease is the umbrella term for what happens when dental health is neglected. Problems begin in the mouth when bacteria and leftover food particles aren’t brushed away. With saliva in the mix plaque will begin to form on your pet’s teeth and eventually harden as tartar causing a breakdown in the gums and teeth. Signs of dental disease include:
- Bad breath
- Yellow or brown buildup on teeth
- Loose teeth
- Pawing at the face
- Excessive drooling
- Red and swollen gums
- Changes in chewing and eating habits
If you notice these signs please book an appointment with us immediately. Call 604-591-5304 to get your pet the help they need.
How can I keep my pet’s gums and teeth healthy?
Including preventative practices in your pet’s daily routine is the first step to preventing periodontal disease. You should get your pet into the habit of having their teeth brushed daily. You can ask our veterinarians to recommend techniques to make it easier and toothpastes that are safe and enjoyed by pets. Your pet should have at least one dental cleaning annually. A professional cleaning will remove hard buildup too stubborn for a regular toothbrush. We scale and polish teeth during dental cleanings and provide recommendations for at-home care. We may suggest dental chews to scrape off bacteria and plaque or create dental diets for your loyal companion.