Dental health is a vital component to the overall health of every animal. Did you know that by the age of 3 years, the majority of dogs and cats have some level of periodontal disease? It’s not always apparent to pet owners how serious periodontal disease can be. It not only causes halitosis (bad breath), oral pain, infection, and inflammation, but it can also cause other serious health problems like heart, liver, and kidney disease which can drastically affect the quality of life for these pets. These serious complications happen due to the “perfect storm” that occurs with dental disease. Gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums around the teeth, causes the tissue to become inflamed and creates an avenue into the blood stream. Bacteria that builds up on the exterior tooth surface is called plaque or dental calculus. When this bacteria enters the blood stream through the inflamed gum tissue, it can travel through the body to other organs like the heart, liver, and kidneys where it can cause disease.
There are several ways to slow the progression of dental disease, such as regular brushing at home, dental chews or treats, and routine veterinary exams. Ultimately, the best and most effective way to prevent dental disease in your pet is through professional dental cleanings performed in our hospital. At Summit Vet, we thoroughly clean every surface of each tooth and below the gum line where bacteria like to hide. We use digital radiography to evaluate the health of every tooth and determine if affected teeth need to be extracted. Once the teeth are clean, we polish them and apply a sealant to slow the progression of plaque build up in the future. After the procedure, your pet will have pearly whites and clean fresh breath!
Does your pet have yellow or brown teeth and stinky breath? If so, give us a call today and schedule a professional dental cleaning!