Dental Care is a MUST for Your Pet!
Animal Hospital of Statesville provides your pet with a complete array of advanced veterinary dental care services. We perform comprehensive professional dental cleanings, digital dental x-rays and tooth extractions. Similar to what your human dentist and oral surgeon provides
The physical examination of your pet reveals a buildup of plaque & tartar on your pet’s teeth and under the gums. This causes a condition called periodontitis (gum infection) that begins as a red line at the junction of the gums and teeth. As bacterial infection worsens, pockets begin to form under the gum line which separate the teeth from their attachment to the gums and can eventually lead to the loss of teeth. The first sign of periodontal disease is BAD BREATH!
Approximately 85-95% of all dogs and cats two years old or older have periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is the major cause of tooth loss in the dog. This tooth loss is almost totally preventable (or at least controllable) with regular teeth cleanings and daily home care. Proper dental hygiene has saved the lives of more pets that any other advancement in veterinary medicine in the last 15 years. It is estimated that smaller dogs and cats can live 15-20% longer with regular dental care. Larger dogs can live 10-15% longer.
Human studies are now also discovering the importance of dental hygiene. Pregnant women with periodontal disease
are 7 times more likely to have a premature or low birth weight baby. People with periodontal disease are twice as likely to have heart attacks.
1. Infected gums hurt! Red gums are infected and painful. “Red means pain.” Pets have the same nerve supply to teeth as humans and therefore feel the same
degree of pain as a human with an infected mouth or toothache.
2. Gum infections can be a “seed of infection” for internal organs. The real problem is what we can’t see rather than what we do see in the mouth.
Most of the infection is below the gum line making it invisible to us. Periodontal disease causes the gum to separate from the tooth roots resulting in the tearing
of blood vessels below the gum line. This provides an open route for bacteria to the bloodstream allowing them to spread all over the body. This will result in
potential infections in the liver, kidney, heart, brain, and spinal cord. It is now thought that the major cause of heart disease in the dog is infections spreading
from the teeth. Additionally it is possible for an incision to become infected by a pet with dirty teeth licking the incision.
3. The first sign of periodontal disease is halitosis (“bad breath”)! If your pet has bad breath, periodontal disease is present under the gums.
4. Periodontal disease causes the loss of teeth. As the disease progresses, it continues to separate the tooth root from its attachment to the gum eventually
resulting in the loss of the tooth.
5. New evidence links periodontal disease to medical problems in humans. Pregnant women with periodontal disease are 7 times more likely to have a
premature or low birth weight baby. People with periodontal disease are twice as likely to have heart attacks. Periodontal disease doubles the likelihood of
6. A pet’s infected mouth has public health significance. It is possible for you to develop infections (such as conjunctivitis) from contact with the saliva of
a pet with periodontal disease. This contact might come from the pet licking you in the face or getting saliva on your hands and then rubbing your face allowing
the saliva to come in contact with eyes.
7. Periodontal disease can be prevented and/or controlled. Routine dental exams allow for early detection of potential problems and prompt treatment of
any early periodontal disease. Proper dental hygiene starts with appropriate home care. There are several options for home care and a recommendation can
be made appropriate for your life style, dexterity, and pet temperament.
8. Preventing dental disease is less costly than treating it. One dental cleaning per year for your pet equals one every 3.5 years according to human
dental recommendations. Just imagine if you did not brush your teeth or have regular dental cleanings!!
60 – 70% of the pathology found in our patient’s mouths occurs under the gum line and may only be identified with dental x-rays. According to Jim Merritt, Marketing Manager, Pfizer, "Less than 10 percent of small animal veterinarians across the country are equipped to take dental X-rays." So if you want your money spent on a dog dental teeth cleaning or cat dental teeth cleaning procedure that will actually make a difference in your pet's health, ask the question! If a veterinary clinic doesn't take digital dental x-rays or is not willing to show you and discuss several dental x-rays on the computer, they haven't had sufficient training in veterinary dentistry. Save your money!
More than 8 out of 10 pets over 4 years old suffer from periodontal disease, a condition in which bacteria attack the soft gum
tissue. With gum deterioration, bacteria have a clear path to the bloodstream and vital organs, such as kidney, liver, lungs and
heart. Even when teeth appear healthy, bacteria can build up in spaces between teeth and gums resulting in extensive
periodontal disease. Even tooth root abscesses may not be apparent and may require intra oral radiographs (dental x-rays) to
identify. Intra oral radiographs may also be taken for other abnormal dental conditions.
Intra oral radiographs show the inside of the tooth and the root, which lie below the gum line. Intra oral radiographs are critical in determining the health of your pet's mouth.
1. Periodontal Disease: use them to look for bone loss around tooth roots.
2. Broken Teeth: Look for signs of root tip infection.
3. Discolored Teeth: look at pulp chamber and signs of root tip infection.
4. Suborbital swellings: look for root tip infection or cystic teeth.
5. Resorptive lesions: check to decide if there are roots to be extracted or f periondontal disease is present.
6. Oral tumors: look for bone involvement.
7. Pre and post tooth extraction: be sure all roots are gone.
8. Missing Teeth: check to be sure they aren’t below the gingival.
9. Oral surgery: oral fractures or margins for oral tumor surgery.
10. Full Mouth Series: to make sure all teeth, roots, and bone appears healthy.
1. SEDATION is required since the pet will not “open wide.” We use the safest sedatives possible. This allows us to do a thorough job of cleaning below the gum line. We will only need to “borrow” your pet for a few hours! Sedation also allows us to do a much more thorough job below the gum line, which, although unable to be seen, is where most of the real problem is located. The part of the tooth under the gum line MUST be cleaned, as well as the exposed portion to really help the pet long-term. Our sedatives are chosen with your pet’s utmost safety in mind, and are dictated by age, weight, and physical condition. To determine if there has been any organ damage by the gum disease and to help us better plan life-stage recommendations for your pet, we recommend optional ECG screening for heart problems and laboratory testing to better understand the condition of the internal organs. This often reveals sub-clinical problems that can be treated or minimized to add additional years to the life of your pet.
2. ORAL EXAMINATION. Once the pet is sedated, a thorough examination of the mouth allows us to determine the specific treatment required. The gum around each tooth is probed to determine the depth of any “pockets” present. Once the pockets are detected appropriate therapy may include a thorough scaling and soft tissue debridement to encourage the tissues to heal together, or in severe cases it may require removal of excess gum tissue.
3. SCALING of the teeth to remove tartar above and below the gum line is done with both hand instruments and ultrasonic equipments. The area below the gum is the most important because this is where periodontal disease actuallybegins to cause damage.
4. EXTRACTIONS are sometimes necessary if the root attachments are no longer sufficient to keep the tooth stable in the mouth or if the pulp cavity is exposed. Unstable teeth are painful and serve as a source of future infections. While there are additional charges for extractions, it is most economical to perform any needed extractions at the time of the dental prophy while the pet is already sedated.
5. POLISHING the teeth after scaling is important to “smooth down” the surfaces, making them much more resistant to new plaque formation. Just like after using “coarse” sandpaper, we must polish (“fine sandpaper”) to make the teeth smooth. Without polishing, dental specialists say we are really doing the pet very little good, and in fact the plaque would return very quickly if the teeth were not polished after scaling.
6. FLUORIDE APPLICATION TO THE TEETH AFTER CLEANING is an important part of the dental prophylaxis procedure. It decreases teeth sensitivity, strengthens enamel, has some antibacterial effects, and decreases the rate of future plaque formation.
7. ANTIBIOTICS are usually required in veterinary dentistry because a tooth cleaning is not usually performed until tooth and gum disease is already present. Injectable antibiotics are used routinely. Oral antibiotics are sometimes prescribed, depending upon the severity of infection. This is NOT routinely needed in human dentistry because we don’t let our teeth get that bad before seeking professional help.
Once the dental cleaning procedure has been completed, it is IMPORTANT that you follow the dental hygiene recommendations made for your particular pet to keep your pet’s mouth as healthy as possible.
1. Your pet needs at least one physical exam every year. Older pets should receive exams every 6 months. One physical exam/year in your pet is equal to one physical exam every 5-7 years in a human. Oral dental exams are a part of every comprehensive physical examination.
2. Avoid feeding your pet excessively soft, moist foods or table scraps. These tend to stick between the teeth, which leads to more bacterial growth
3. Remember that, even if your pet eats hard foods and/or biscuits/rawhides, bacterial will still accumulate without proper professional and home care. New research shows that most dogs and cats should have routine dental cleanings performed annually to minimize changes of advanced disease just as is the case in humans. Remember the real problem lies below the gum line!
4. Start routine dental home care while the pet is still young. This lets it simply become an accepted part of life for them.
5. REGULAR TOOTH BRUSHING is the most effective way to control plaque at home. Daily brushing is recommended, but even performing it every other day makes a significant difference.
6. Use dental products designed especially for pets. Most human products contain ingredients that cause excessive salivation and gastric upsets in pets. The appropriate recommendation for your pet is:
C.E.T. Enzymatic Pet Toothpaste
C.E.T. Aquadent Drinking Water additive
PRESCRIPTION DIET t/d fed as a treat instead of OTC treats that are nutritionally unbalanced
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|(Closed every Mon. 12pm-2pm for CE training)|
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