If you want your pet to live longer, try to do these three items on a regular basis:
- Feed your pet a good diet and get plenty of exercise
- Regularly immunize your pet and administer parasite preventatives
- KEEP YOUR PET'S TEETH AND GUMS CLEAN AND HEALTHY
- Extra fourth item, ask us for help with the three items above:)
To help you with this goal, for the month of February 2017, we are offering $25.00 off our teeth cleanings. Please call us at 214-547-8387 to set up an appointment now, before it is too late.
We have had clients mention to us that teeth cleaning was a purely cosmetic procedure. Nothing is further from the truth. Most dental disease occurs below the gum line where you can’t see it. That is where the terrible odor comes from. Damage may already be occurring even though the teeth look healthy.
WHAT IS PERIODONTAL DISEASE?
Periodontal disease is the most common dental condition in dogs and cats. By the time your pet is 3 years old, he or she will very likely already have early evidence of periodontal disease. Early detection and treatment are critical, because advanced periodontal disease can cause severe problems and pain for your pet. Periodontal disease doesn’t just impact your pet’s mouth; other health problems associated with periodontal disease include kidney, liver and heart muscle changes. Periodontal disease starts with plaque that hardens into tartar. Tartar above the gum line can often easily be seen and removed, but the plaque and tartar below the gum line are damaging and set the stage for infection and damage to the jawbone and tissues that connect the tooth to the jaw bone. Periodontal disease is graded on a scale of 0 (normal) to 4 (severe).
Stage 1 Periodontal Disease: There is visible tartar build up on the teeth and slight swelling and redness of the gums.
Stage 2 and 3 Periodontal Disease: In stage 2, the gums are more swollen and there can be mild loss of bone around the tooth roots which is only visible on x-rays. Stage 3 looks similar to stage 2 on the surface but x-rays would show more severe bone loss.
Stage 4 Periodontal Disease: Stage 4 is very serious, with severe tartar accumulation, receded gum lines, tooth damage and decay, and bone loss.
WHAT ARE SYMPTOMS OF ORAL HEALTH PROBLEMS IN A PET?
Your pet’s teeth should be checked at least once per year, by Dr. James M. Greenwell, for early signs of a problem and to keep your pet’s mouth healthy. Always use caution when evaluating your pet’s mouth. A pet that is experiencing pain might bite.
• Bad breath Reduced appetite • Broken or loose teeth • Bleeding from the mouth • Teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar • Abnormal chewing, drooling or dropping food from the mouth • Swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth • Irritability • Changes in behavior
WHAT OTHER TYPES OF DENTAL PROBLEMS CAN A PET HAVE? • Extra teeth or retained baby teeth • Broken teeth and roots • Broken or fractured jaw • Abscesses or infected teeth • Periodontal disease • Palate defects such as cleft palate • Cysts or tumors in the mouth • Malocclusion or misalignment of teeth and bit
WHAT IS VETERINARY DENTISTRY AND WHO PROVIDES IT?
Veterinary dentistry, much like human dentistry, includes preventive care, cleaning, adjustment, filing, extraction and repair of teeth. These procedures are performed by a Dr. James M. Greenwell and his support staff.
Typical steps of a dental exam: • The veterinarian will perform an overall oral exam • X-rays may be needed to evaluate the health of the jaw and tooth roots below the gum line • Dental cleaning under anesthesia includes scaling that will remove dental plaque and tartar; and also polishing. Polishing helps smoothen the enamel of the tooth with the purpose of making it harder for plaque or tartar to adhere to the surface. I was honestly under the impression that polishing was a cosmetic improvement. Well, it is, but it is also a technique to help prevent further buildup.
For more information, here is a link to the American Veterinary Medical Association https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Pet-Dental-Care.aspx
There is a lot to talk about. Call us now at 214-547-8387 to help keep your pet's teeth clean and to help them celebrate more birthdays!
Russell Creek Pet Clinic and Hospital--Helping Pets Celebrate More Birthdays--Since 1991:)