Pet Dental Care – Assessment, Home Care, and Treatment

Oral care is an often over-looked component of a pet’s health. This is unfortunate because.....

85% of pets have periodontal disease by age 3 years.

Periodontal disease indicates there is bacterial destruction to the tissue that supports the tooth. It is the progression of gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and once started, is progressive and irreversible. However, it can be slowed down and managed. This is important because over time, periodontal disease will cause pain and tooth loss.

Pet dentistry healthy teeth
Pet dentistry unhealthy teeth

Willowbend Animal Hospital understands that dental care is paramount in maintaining the health of your pet. Oral pain is overlooked by pet owners and veterinarians alike on a daily basis. Because the teeth are “hidden” in the mouth, the old saying: “out of sight, out of mind” definitely applies here. This really is a quality of life issue for many pets.

A myth we hear almost every day is that because the pet is eating, he/she is not painful. The truth is that the pet is still eating because they have to. It does not mean there is not pain.

The best option of course is prevention, just as with people. Routine brushing of the teeth at home and the use of products designed to minimize plaque accumulation are critical to keeping the teeth healthy.

A crucial component of good oral care is a planned COHAT (COMPREHENSIVE ORAL HEALTH ASSESSMENTS AND TREATMENT) under general anesthesia. A proper COHAT is more than just scraping obvious tartar off the crown of the tooth. Each tooth is carefully evaluated for disease and if indicated, digital radiographs are taken. If pathology of a tooth is noted, then measures to either salvage the tooth or remove (extract) the tooth are performed. The healthy teeth are then scaled and polished.