Pet Dental Care FAQs
Proper pet dental care is more than just wanting your dog or cat to have fresh breath. Dental problems in pets can be symptoms of other health problems and can lead to pain and problems eating later in life. We recommend that your pet have an annual dental exam from our veterinarian at Veterinary Health Center in Saginaw.
What Are Some Warning Signs?
Your dog or cat should come into our office right away if you notice any of these symptoms:
- Broken or loose teeth
- Tartar buildup
- Bad breath
- Abnormal chewing
- Dropping food from the mouth
- Swelling or bleeding around the jaw or the gumline
What Happens During a Pet Dental Exam?
A dental exam for a dog or a cat is similar to the kinds of dental exams that people have. During the exam, our veterinarian will look at the condition of the teeth and whether there are any abnormalities. The doctor is also looking for plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth. The veterinarian will pay careful attention to the gumline and may order a set of x-rays to see the condition of the roots of the teeth.
Our practice uses anesthesia to perform pet dental cleanings for the safety of the pet and the doctor. A pet can't understand why the veterinarian is poking around its mouth and could try to bite out of fear. Anesthesia reduces the amount of stress on the pet and ensures that the pet remains still for the cleaning.
What Are Some Common Pet Dental Problems?
Periodontal or gum disease is very common in pets. Doctors say by the third birthday most pets will already have signs of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease begins with a buildup of plaque on the teeth. As the plaque hardens, it turns into tartar. Regular exams and cleanings are important for removing both plaque and tartar that could damage the teeth and cause pain. Periodontal disease not only weakens the teeth, bacteria from it can spread to the kidneys, liver and even the heart. Periodontal disease can also spread into the pet's jaw and weaken it as well.
Schedule an Appointment for Dental Care
Call our office in Saginaw at (989) 793-2490 or use the online appointment request tool to schedule a pet dental exam at Veterinary Health Center. We recommend an annual visit to a veterinarian to evaluate your pet's overall health as well as your pet’s teeth. However, if you notice any dental-related problems for your pet, schedule an appointment right away.