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Veterinary Services: Dental Care

Pet DentistryIt may surprise to know that dental disease is the #1 health problem facing most dogs and cats. Whereas you and I are trained to visit the dentist every six months, most pet owners neglect to get regular cleanings for their pet's teeth. In fact, by the age of three, 80% of all dogs and 70% of all cats show signs of dental disease. The biggest problem surrounding poor dental care in pets is not only tooth decay, but bacteria build-up that can spread to the vital organs and eventually lead to serious health conditions.

Belton Animal Clinic & Exotic Care Center is fully commited to providing the best pet dental care in the area. In addition to regular teeth cleanings, our trained veterinarians are adept at extractions and other complex procedures. Furthermore, we are the only general veterinary practice in the area with digital dental radiography equipment. Every dental procedure includes a full-mouth set of x-rays that allow our staff to see potentially problematic issues that may be hiding below the gum line. Being able to treat these issues early can not only greatly improve your pet's comfort, but also save owners from significant expenses down the road.

Why is your pet's dental care so important? The bacteria causing dental disease can seed to other organs of the body and is frequently involved in heart and kidney disease in dogs and cats. Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissue surrounding the teeth that progresses through stages. Plaque and tarter form first in the cracks of the teeth and at the gum line. At this point the plaque is not fixed, and brushing can dislodge it. However, if the plaque is not removed, inflammation of the gums or "gingivitis" can form causing the gums to become red, swollen and bloody. The plaque can harden onto tarter that can separate the tooth from the gum. Plaque can then form under the gum line and subsequently cause pus to form at the tooth root, impacting the tooth. Finally, the boney socket holding the tooth can erode and cause the tooth to fall out. This is all very painful process for your pet that can usually be prevented or slowed by adequate dental home care. However, as the pain is chronic and slowly progressive, it is not readily evident to the owner.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Home Care For Your Dog or Cat:

  • Q: Who needs dental home care and when should I start?
  • A: All dogs and cats should be provided with dental home care starting at 4 months of age (or earlier) when the permanent teeth erupt.

     
  • Q: What is the best way to care for my pet's teeth?
  • A: brushing the teeth daily is one of the most reliable ways to prevent dental disease in pets. Additionally, using a product like Oravet can be very helpful for preventing plaque buildup.

     
  • Q: How often should I brush my pet's teeth?
  • A: It is best to brush your pet's teeth every day or every other day right after a meal

     
  • Q: My pet is really resistant to brushing, is there anything else I can do?
  • A: It is always best to start brushing your pet's teeth at a very young age (4 months or earlier) so that they become use to it as soon as possible. However you should not just stick a toothbrush in your pet's mouth; make sure you start slowly.

     

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