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Dental Care

Photo of Dog Receiving Dental Exam

If your pet has bad breath or reddened gums, he or she likely has gingivitis. As plaque builds up on your pet's teeth, it hardens into tartar, resulting in gingivitis. If left untreated, your pet can develop periodontal disease, a serious, painful infection that damages the teeth and gums and can lead to health problems elsewhere in your pet's body.

It is important to recognize the warning signs of dental disease in your pet, which include:

  • Bad breath - one of the first signs of dental disease
  • A yellowish-brown crust of plaque on the teeth near the gum line
  • Red and swollen gums
  • Pain or bleeding when your pet eats or when the mouth or gums are touched
  • Decreased appetite, difficulty swallowing, or discomfort chewing
  • Loose or missing teeth
  • Pawing at the mouth

 

Exam & Cleaning

Most pets require a dental exam, professional cleaning, and x-rays once a year. During a dental exam, the veterinarian will check the mouth for odor, inflamed gums, and discolored, broken, or missing teeth, all signs of gum disease. The remainder of the exam must be done under general anesthesia so that the vet can examine the entire mouth and take x-rays.

The idea of putting a pet under anesthesia is stressful for many pet-owners, but at White Oak Veterinary Clinic, we take every precaution to ensure your pet's safety. While your pet is under anesthesia, a trained technician will monitor your pet's vitals, including arterial oxygen level, heart rate, respiratory rate, and core body temperature, using our advanced monitoring system.

 

Home Care

The best and only way to prevent gum disease is through proper at-home dental care. Ideally, you should brush your pet's teeth every day with a pet-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste. If you cannot brush your pet's teeth every day, brushing every other day or once a week will benefit them as well. We can offer you tips on brushing and other habits you can adopt to promote your pet's dental health. The more you care for your pet's teeth at home, the less your pet will need professional cleanings, and that will save you money!