Imagine if you never brushed your teeth or had them cleaned. Pretty frightening, right? Eventually, things would start to go very, very bad inside your mouth: teeth would rot and decay and gums would become inflamed and infected. Bacteria from those rotting teeth might even start to travel to your bloodstream and cause other serious health problems. And we haven’t even mentioned how painful your mouth would become.
It’s the same scenario for your dog or cat. While some people might laugh at the idea of brushing their pet’s teeth or taking them for a dental cleaning, the fact is that by age three, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some evidence of periodontal disease. Bell Veterinary Hospital can help your pet avoid all of that with complete pet oral health care as part of our comprehensive dental health services, including:
- Dental exams
- Annual dental cleanings
- Dental X-rays
Following American Veterinary Medical Association guidelines, Bell Veterinary Hospital only does cleanings and dental work on anesthetized pets. To ensure your pet is healthy enough to undergo anesthesia, we do require a routine blood test before the procedure.
Preventive dental care can begin with brushing your pet’s teeth at least three times per week to prevent plaque and tartar build-up. Interested in learning how to do it? Just ask and our veterinarians will be happy to help you get started. If you have a pet that won’t tolerate brushing, our veterinarians can also recommend products that will help keep your pet’s mouth healthy in between cleanings.
You can also help prevent severe oral problems by looking at your pet’s teeth from time to time and investigating bad smells, growths and discolorations. Some symptoms to watch for include:
- Bad breath
- Excessive drooling
- Dropping food
- Blood on chew toys
- Loss of appetite
- Swollen or painful face
- Pawing at the mouth
- Yellow, broken, loose or missing teeth
- Gums that are red, swollen or bleeding