At-home dental care—like tooth brushing and dental treats—is an important part of your pet’s overall wellness plan. But even if you’re brushing their teeth every day, your pets can still benefit from annual dental cleanings. In addition to preventing the progression of periodontal disease, regular professional pet dental cleanings can help prevent tooth loss, organ damage, and mouth pain.
Benefits of Professional Pet Dental Cleanings
A professional dental cleaning goes beyond giving your pet’s teeth a good scrub. It’s our chance to do a thorough exam and cleaning of your pet’s teeth, gums, and mouth. The top benefits of a professional dental cleaning include:
Getting the full picture of your pet’s dental health
Pet dental disease can be hard to spot because it often occurs below the gum line. In fact, your pet’s teeth might look completely normal. That’s why we begin each dental with a comprehensive exam and evaluation of your pet’s dental health.
Dental procedures include full-mouth x-rays and evaluation/charting of each tooth’s health. We’ll also evaluate for periodontal pockets, or abnormal loss of gum tissue. This thorough dental exam helps us form a treatment plan to address any immediate problems, like broken or infected teeth. It also allows us to keep a big picture view of your pet’s dental health throughout their lifetime.
Prevents periodontal disease and tooth loss
As bacteria from food and saliva accumulates in your pet’s mouth, it creates a sticky film known as plaque. Within 12-72 hours, plaque hardens into calculus, or tartar, which is difficult to remove without specialized tools. As plaque, tartar, and bacteria collect on the tooth above and below the gum line, they inflame the tissue that supports the tooth. In turn, this can cause the gums and bone to recede and degrade.
By 3 years old, over 80% of dogs and 85% of cats have some form of dental disease, also known as periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can range in severity from mild cases of gingivitis to painful tooth root abscesses and resorptive lesions. When left untreated, periodontal disease spreads deeper into the tooth socket, eventually destroying the bone and leading to tooth loss.
During a professional pet dental cleaning, with advanced equipment we will remove plaque and tartar both above and below the gum line. Regular dental cleanings can help prevent the progression of periodontal disease and keep your pet’s teeth healthier for longer.
Protects internal organs from harmful bacteria
When you think of poor dental health, you probably think of bad breath, swollen gums, and tooth pain. But did you know dental disease can also impact your pet’s internal organs? When bacteria found in dental plaque enters the bloodstream, it can spread to the heart, kidneys, and liver. This bacterial spread—called bacteremia—can damage these vital organs
Bacteria in dental plaque can enter the bloodstream and travel to other areas in the body. Three organs are especially susceptible to damage from oral bacteria: the heart, the liver, and the kidneys. In fact, periodontal disease has been linked to increased risk of heart disease in dogs. Bringing your pet in for annual professional dental cleanings is an important part of protecting these vital organs.
Provides peace of mind
As we’ve said already, a lot of dental disease can occur below the gum line making it difficult to detect until things have gotten serious. On top of being painful, advanced dental disease can mean longer recovery times and a higher chance that teeth will need to be extracted. By scheduling regular pet dental cleanings for dogs and cats, we can address periodontal disease before it becomes painful (and expensive!) to treat.
Annual dental cleanings are an important part of your pet’s wellness plan!
Here at Mountainside Veterinary Hospital, we’re focused on whole-pet wellness. That includes keeping their teeth and gums healthy and pain-free. While periodontal disease is a common occurrence for both cats and dogs, annual dental cleanings can prevent its painful progression. Have questions about what to expect during your pet’s professional dental cleaning? Our team has answers! Give us a call to schedule your pet’s next dental appointment.