When pets have a chipped tooth, a loose tooth or a toothache, they have no way of telling their owners. Consequently, animal teeth cleaning is sometimes overlooked during pet grooming sessions. Just like humans suffer from oral diseases because they neglect to visit a dentist, animals may also suffer tooth decay, gum disease and extensive tooth loss if they don’t receive regular dental cleanings. We’ve put together 5 simple facts that pet
Animal Teeth Cleaning Facts Vets Want You to Know
- According to the American Veterinary Dental College, drooling while holding food in the mouth or dropping food already in the mouth may indicate oral disease. Any pressure exerted on painful, decayed teeth or inflamed gums will cause an animal to release whatever is causing the pressure. Other symptoms of oral disease in pets that owners often fail to recognize include chronic eye infections, frequent sneezing, nasal discharge and chewing on one side of the mouth.
- A research paper published in Veterinary World reports a positive correlation between dogs suffering periodontal disease and instances of chronic kidney disease. This correlation was attributed to the presence of inflammatory bacteria in the bloodstream caused by untreated periodontitis.
- Root canal therapy is applicable to dogs suffering dental pulp infections, according to the American Veterinary Dental Society. A pet dentist performs a root canal procedure on canine teeth similar to how it is performed on human teeth, by cleaning out the infected pulp, filling the hole with amalgam or composite filling and capping the tooth.
- Pets develop oral diseases when biofilms composed of proteins, dead cells and food debris accumulate on dental enamel and harden into plaque. Unless removed by an animal teeth cleaning specialist, plaque develops into an even harder substance called calculus that cannot be removed by brushing.
- The American Veterinary Dental College warns against using human toothpaste to brush your pet’s teeth because of detergents and abrasives found in human toothpastes that should not be inhaled or swallowed by pets. Pet-specific toothpastes containing safe ingredients are available in meat flavors palatable to dogs and cats.
How Does a Pet Dentist Clean Animal Teeth?
Following a physical examination and blood testing to thoroughly assess an animal’s health, your pet’s mouth is then x-rayed using cutting-edge dental technology that detects problems not readily visible by just looking at the animal’s teeth and gums. For example, oral x-rays allow a pet dentist to see decayed areas between teeth, jawbone damage caused by infections or cysts and tumors developing within the gums. By finding dental issues in their earliest stages, veterinarians can initiate preventive care so that your pet doesn’t suffer from periodontitis or other chronic health conditions.
Pets Getting Their Teeth Cleaned Will Need to Spend a Day in an Animal Hospital
Cleaning an animal’s teeth requires putting the animal to sleep so that it can be done properly while reducing stress for the animal. Following completion of a dental cleaning procedure, pets are kept for observation for a short time until the vet releases them to their owners.