Pet Dental Care & Teeth Cleaning for Healthy Dogs & Cats
Dogs and cats commonly suffer from tooth and gum disease. These problems are quite painful, lead to more complex diseases, and shorten the life span of our animal companions. Maine Coast Veterinary Hospital stresses the importance of pet dental exams at every preventive care visit, to keep your dogs and cats healthier for years to come.
Pet Dental Care
Pet dental exams and professional cleanings are essential for pet health. Most dogs and cats over the age of three suffer from some form of periodontal disease. Without an oral health program for your pet, plaque and bacteria build up quickly. This causes painful tooth damage and disease that could potentially lead to problems in the kidneys, liver, and heart.
Our dental care program offers the most effective disease prevention in three steps:
- Dental Evaluation & Oral Exams
- Teeth Cleaning & Dental Treatment
- Home Care
Keep your pets healthy from the start, it’s a cost-effective approach that keeps them happy and comfortable from day one.
Dental Evaluation & Oral Exams
At each preventive care exam, we evaluate the teeth and gums to help determine if any dental services are required. Aside from tartar on the teeth, symptoms of dental disease include:
- Bad breath
- Pawing or rubbing the mouth
- Problems chewing
- Increased salivation
- Red, inflamed, or bleeding gums
Disease is considered advanced if inflammation and gum loss are present, or if teeth are loose, missing, or damaged. In some cases, a pet will give you little outward sign of dental disease below the gum line. For this reason, periodic cleanings with dental X-rays are a good idea.
Two-thirds of any tooth lies beneath the gum line, where 60% of dental disease is found. Dental X-rays give us a complete picture of dental health, identifying disease and the need for other procedures. We may also order diagnostic lab work, when disease is suspected and prior to administering anesthesia.
Teeth Cleaning & Dental Treatment
Anesthesia allows us to evaluate and treat the teeth and gums safely, while keeping your pet comfortable. Our patients receive anesthesia for thorough oral exams, teeth cleaning, and treatment for certain dental problems and diseases. Deep cleaning is performed with tools similar to those used by human dentists, to scale teeth and polish enamel.
Given that nail trimming can be stressful for many pets, this is provided as a courtesy whenever a pet is anesthetized for dentistry or other procedures.
Learn more about our dental care program, tooth brushing and dental care in pets
Home Care for Dental Health
Maintaining clean teeth is easy when part of a regular grooming routine. Many dogs and cats enjoy the daily teeth cleaning, and you may appreciate the opportunity to bond with your pet.
Though many pets can be trained to do well with tooth brushing, we realize that some pets and/or owners may not be comfortable with this task. These pets may need dental cleanings more frequently, but there are other ways to help pets maintain a healthy mouth.
Special diets can help keep teeth and gums healthy, along with dental toys and treats. Our staff is pleased to make recommendations for safe, effective dental products.
We encourage you to explore online resources, such as:
- The Feline Health Center at Cornell University offers this video program, Brushing your Cat's Teeth.
Please contact our hospital to schedule your pet’s dental care.