Friday, September 28, 2012

Dental Health

Why do I need to get my dog's teeth cleaned?

If your dog or cat has bacteria built up in the mouth and your vet has recommended a dental cleaning, what are the benefits?  The teeth can become infected and cause pain and difficulty in eating and chewing.  The bacteria will circulate throughout the pet's body and can cause problems in his heart.  If the infection is severe your vet may want to put your pet on antibiotics before the dental.

What happens during the dental cleaning?

We will have you bring your pet in to the hospital early in the day with no food or water after 10 pm the night before.  We will sedate your pet and place a tube in the throat.  This helps in two ways.  Animals don't understand that they need to hold very still so that the teeth can be cleaned properly.  The tube also keeps the water used in the cleaning process from going down the airway and causing pneumonia.  The teeth are cleaned and polished and an antibiotic is applied to the surface of the teeth and gums.

What is the Recovery Like?

Most pets can eat and drink normally as soon as they recover from the anesthesia.  If they have teeth removed, they may prefer soft food for a few days, but generally the mouth heals very quickly.  If your pet had gingivitis or other forms of infection in the mouth they will probably feel much better after the cleaning.  Even if we just remove tartar build up, it will positively affect your dogs overall health.

Can My Pet Get Cavities?

Dogs and cats generally do not eat sweets or drink sodas like humans.  Most owners do not brush their pets' teeth.  Food can accumulate at the gumline just like in a human mouth and cause tartar buildup, and eventually if it is not removed, bacterial growth and additional problems.