Tartar buildup can cause more than just bad breath. Did you know that, if allowed to progress, oral bacteria can eventually lead to tooth and gum disease, which can cause heart, lung, and kidney issues? It can also be fatal in its most advanced stage. Dental disease can also be quite painful, and unfortunately, it’s also quite common in pets. In fact, more than 50% of dogs and cats have some form of dental disease by 3 years of age.
The most common dental question we receive from pet owners is “Can you fix my pet’s bad breath?” However, the more important question should be “What’s causing my pet’s bad breath?” This question often has surprising reactions. Your pet’s mouth odor is related to an infection in their mouth. Yes, an infection! The tartar and calculus buildup on your pet’s teeth is due to a combination of minerals, saliva, and bacteria, which causes pain and disease. You may respond to that with “But my dog is still eating well.” This may be true, however, pets usually only refuse to eat when a very serious disease process is present. Often pets diagnosed with severe dental disease and Stage 3-4 periodontal disease that need multiple tooth extractions are still eating.
Liberty Veterinary Medical Center wants to lower the number of pets that are affected by dental disease, because we believe a healthy pet is a happy pet. That’s why we offer advanced pet dental services to keep your companion’s mouth in tip-top shape. We also recommend annual wellness exams, since these visits usually serve as the first opportunity to determine if any oral problems are present. These exams also allow us to discuss the signs of dental and periodontal disease to look for, such as bad breath, red gums, tartar buildup along the gum line, receded gums, and loose or rotten teeth.
About Our Pet Dental Services
Because your pet’s safety and comfort are our #1 priority at Liberty Veterinary Medical Center, we perform all dental procedures under general anesthesia and require pre-anesthetic blood work. We also use advanced equipment to monitor your pet’s vital signs before, during, and after the procedure. To aid in the diagnosis of periodontal disease, we rely on digital dental X-ray technology to view below the gum line, where most dental issues are found. Most people are accustomed to having dental X-rays taking during routine visits with their dentist. We provide the same standards of care for your four-legged friends, based on AAHA’s Dental Care Guidelines for dogs and cats. Our services include:
- Complete dental and oral exams
- Pre-anesthetic blood work
- General anesthesia using updated Standards of Care, focused on safety
- Full mouth digital dental X-rays (included during each and every dental cleaning)
- Ultrasonic scaling (teeth cleaning)
- Teeth polishing
- Extractions (if necessary)
To learn more about pet dental services, including a list of FAQs, please refer to our Not All Dental Procedures Are Equal document.
At-Home Dental Care
Although professional veterinary care is essential in keeping your pet healthy, it’s only part of the prevention process. The other part involves you. We recommend that you brush your pet’s teeth daily, if possible. There are many products and treats that can also help keep your pet’s teeth and gums healthy. Liberty Veterinary Medical Center recommends products that have been awarded the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) seal. These products have been proven to prevent plaque and/or tartar in dogs and cats.
If you think your pet is due for a dental visit, or if you have questions about our pet dentistry services in Hinesville or VOHC-approved products, feel free to contact us.