When was the last time you had your pet’s teeth cleaned? According to the AVMA, pets who have never had a teeth cleaning have signs of dental disease by the time they are three years old. For that reason, we recommend that all pets have a yearly dental cleaning and oral examination.

Dog getting teeth examined

Gum Disease in Dogs and Cats

Dogs and cats are prone to developing the same dental diseases and problems as humans, including gingivitis, periodontal disease, tooth decay, staining and cavities. The process of dental decay and disease begins hours after your pet eats. When your pet eats a meal, food particles get stuck on their teeth and underneath their gums. This fuels the bacteria in your pet’s mouth, causing an attack on the enamel and creating a sticky, clear substance called plaque. If the plaque is left on teeth, it hardens into tartar. When plaque and tartar are left on your pet’s teeth for an extended period of time, it leads to gingivitis, periodontal disease, and cavities. Dogs are also prone to tooth fracture, especially if they frequently chew on hard objects (antlers, hooves, bones).

Signs of Dental Disease in Pets

When it comes to detecting potential oral health problems in pets, owners must be vigilant in noticing changes in behavior. This is because pets often do not act like they are in pain until the pain is severe. If you notice any of the signs below, it is important that you contact us to schedule a dental evaluation!

  • Broken or loose teeth
  • Discomfort while eating
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Drooling
  • Discoloration of the teeth
  • Swollen or bleeding gums
  • Weight loss or loss of appetite

The Hazards of Untreated Periodontal Disease in Pets

Untreated periodontal disease in dogs and cats can lead to dangerous infections, like tooth root abscesses or bacteria in the bloodstream. Advanced dental disease may also damage your pet’s heart, liver, and kidneys. In order to avoid these potentially life-threatening conditions, it is important to keep your pet’s teeth clean with a combination of at-home care and regular teeth cleanings. Staying on top of your pet's dental health is especially important if your pet has a disorder that weakens the immune system, such as diabetes or Cushing's disease.

Dental Cleanings

An oral examination should be performed once a year at your pet's annual check-up. Do not be surprised if we recommend a teeth cleaning - Dr. Cameran believes that a healthy mouth results in a heathy pet! The best way to properly clean an animal's teeth involves general anesthesia, as cleanings can be uncomfortable and pets do not understand what is happening. Bloodwork is performed prior to the procedure to be sure that anesthesia is safe for your pet. Once safely asleep, a deep cleaning is performed both above and below the gumline. Teeth are then polished to provide a smooth surface that makes it more difficult for plaque to accumulate in the future. Any teeth that warrant extraction are carefully removed and your pet will be provided antibiotics (if indicated) and pain medications to keep them comfortable. Your pet will be discharged the same day in the afternoon. At pick-up, we will provide you with tips and tricks for "home-care," like pet-safe toothpaste, toothbrush options, and dental chews.

To learn more about our veterinary dental services and how they can protect the health of your pet, call us at (352) 900-2673 today.

Contact Us

chiropractic spine


Learn how we can help with your pain