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Introducing Home Dental Care for Your Pet
Dental disease in dog and cats is not just a cosmetic problem. Studies have shown that the bacteria in the mouth shower the other organs every time your pet chews. This can result in heart, lung, kidney or liver disease(s). An unhealthy mouth can actually shorten your pet’s life. Good dental care can have a positive impact on your pet’s life and overall well-being.
Does your pet have bad breath, red or bleeding gums, tarter build-up or loose teeth? Is he refusing to chew hard food or toys? Is he dropping food from his mouth despite being hungry? Is your pet rubbing his face with his paw or on the carpet? All of these may be subtle signs of dental disease. To treat these problems your pet will very likely need to have a dental procedure performed by your veterinarian. But regular and proper home care of your pet’s teeth and gums can substantially reduce the need for dental surgery.
All dogs and cats can benefit from a regular home dental care routine that is recommended by a veterinarian. This home care program often will include both regular brushing and a proper, nutritional diet.
Introduce a brushing program to your pet gradually. At first, dip a finger into pet dental toothpaste and rub gently over the pet’s mouth and teeth. Make the initial sessions short and positive. Gradually, introduce gauze over the finger and gently scrub the teeth in a circular motion. Finally, you can introduce a soft toothbrush. Use a brush specifically designed for pets.
Your pets oral cavity will be evaluated for dental disease by one of our veterinarians at his/her biannual examinations.
The Tooth of the Matter
The truth is that pets actually have a higher incidence of dental disease than humans. Of all pets over two years old, 85 percent have some form of dental disease.
Periodontal disease is a progressive, gradual destruction of the gums caused by bacteria. This dental disease can be life threatening because dangerous bacteria can enter the bloodstream and wreak havoc in your pet’s internal organs such as the liver, kidney and heart. The fact is that dental disease can kill.
If your pet has bad breath, periodontal disease may be the cause. Any build up of yellowish or brownish material on the teeth is calculus, tartar or plaque—all signs of periodontal disease which should be checked by one of our doctors.
During your pet’s examination, the doctor will evaluate your pet’s current dental health condition. If it is determined that a dental prophy is in order, we can schedule it at that time. Anesthesia is required for this procedure because unlike when you visit your dentist and they have you sit still and open your mouth; your pet will not do this. While your pet is under anesthesia, we will also perform a thorough oral exam, take x-rays if required, and perform any additional services, such as extractions or administer doxyrobe in an attempt to save marginally loose teeth.
Your pet may require fewer cleanings and enjoy good breath with daily brushing using toothpaste and toothbrush especially for pets. FPH also has special products that help lessen the buildup of tartar on your pet’s teeth.
By taking good care of your pet’s teeth, you can enhance your pet’s overall health so you can enjoy each other longer!
Your Pet’s Dental Procedure
The dental prophylaxis (cleaning) is a complete procedure involving many steps. Your pet is under general anesthesia to provide the best dental care for the teeth and gums. This standard of care involves:
|Pre-anesthetic examination and blood tests are preformed.|
|IV catheter and fluid administration for safety and rapid access to a vein.|
|Anesthetic induction and monitoring using modern techniques, drugs and equipment. Your pet is kept warm using a convection warming system.|
|Hand held dental instruments and an ultrasonic scaler are used to remove tartar and calculus. As well, subgingival scaling, root planting, and curettage are performed to remove plaque and calculus from the tooth root surface.|
|A chlorhexidine mouth rinse is flushed along the gum line to decrease bacteria in the oral cavity.
Assessment by the doctor of the entire oral cavity, including lips, gums tongue, all tooth surfaces, tooth mobility, subgingival calculus (tartar below the gum line) and periodontal pockets.
Digital dental x-rays are taken, if needed.
|When needed, periodontal pockets are packed with a special antibiotic to reduce infection and help preserve the tooth and surrounding tissues.|
|Hopelessly diseased teeth are extracted when necessary and appropriate measures are taken to ensure your pet remains comfortable and pain free.|
|A special paste and machine is used to polish the teeth to decrease future plaque build-up.|
|Finally, in dogs, a fluoride treatment is applied to the teeth to reduce decay and plaque formation.|
|Your pet then recovers from anesthesia while being closely monitored.|
With severe dental disease your pet may experience some oral discomfort following cleaning. Pain management medications are administered in the hospital and dispensed for home administration. In some cases, soft food is recommended for several days after the dental.
Since large amounts of bacteria can be dislodged from the teeth during dental procedures, antibiotics may be sent home before or after the procedure to help prevent infection.
Home care is important to reduce future plaque formation between dental cleanings. The following is a list of effective oral hygiene products that are appropriate for pets.
Innovations in Preventative Dental Care
Tooth brushing is still the “gold-standard” of disease prevention in the mouth. However, we realize that there are certain obstacles to tooth brushing that are not always easy to overcome. Fortunately, there are now effective alternatives to brushing alone. Use one or more of these products in addition to brushing for even better results. Please ask one or team members which home dental care product best suits your pet.
|The C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Kit
Dogs and Cats - This kit includes Toothpaste, a soft finger-brush and a long-handled brush. Brushing your dogs teeth daily is essential to help keep their teeth healthy and clean. Human toothpaste is not recommended since pets will swallow them and the ingested fluoride could be harmful.
|Royal Canin Dental DD®
Dogs and Cats - Helps to reduce dental tartar formation through the action of sodium tripolyphosphate which binds salivary calcium, making it unavailable for the formation of tartar. The texture and shape of the kibble produce a gentle abrasive effect on the teeth during chewing. This mechanical action provides a brushing effect to reduce the accumulation of dental plaque and tartar. A unique blend of nutrients that help to reduce plaque formation. Reduced plaque formation using a unique blend of nutrients that help reduce plaque build up.
|C.E.T.® HEXtra™ Premium Chews - Dogs Only - These rawhide chews are covered with 10% chlorhexidine, combining the mechanical plaque-removal action from chewing with the bacterial, fungal, and viral fighting ability of chlorhexidine. After at least one minute of contact time the chlorhexidine will bind to the teeth and gums and continue to be effective for up to 24 hours. Chorhexidine is the most effective plaque-inhibiting substance in people. Available in sizes appropriate for your pet.|
|C.E.T® AquaDent™ and Oral Hygiene Rinse™
Dogs and Cats - AquaDent is a drinking water additive that helps freshen your pet’s breath and prevent plaque accumulation. C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Rinse combines 0.12% Chlorhexidine and Zinc Gluconate in a plaque-fighting formulation that may be used with or without brushing. It also contains Cetylpyridinium chloride for fresh breath fast. A unique bent-stem applicator is also included for easy administration.
Dr. Woolley has always gone above and beyond for the care of our family's pets for several years.
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