“The prevalence of treatable dental disease is staggering when you know what to look for and how to recognize lesions. Various sources indicate that 60 to 90 percent of adult dogs have periodontal disease to a degree that necessitates treatment. A similar proportion of the feline population is also affected."
Fraser Hale, Understanding Veterinary Dentistry
With this background, it is obvious why we need to look in our pets mouths. We can no longer afford the luxury of past ignorance. We must accept that pets feel pain, including oral pain. Undiagnosed or unrecognized disease in the mouth can lead to a painful state. Further, undiagnosed oral disease has a high association with eventual spread of bacteria to the heart, liver and kidneys. In summary, oral care is an important part of your pet’s overall wellness.
We advocate that you start orientating your pet to tooth brushing and oral examinations as puppy and kittens. This will allow you to be successful at oral care for the rest of your pet’s life. Not to say we cannot teach an older pet to accommodate this care, it is just trickier. Check the links to brushing guides. Use of oral gel or specific dentifrices is best for your pet’s mouth. Do not use human tooth paste as it foams and upsets the pet’s stomach.
Yearly or bi–yearly oral examinations by one of our veterinary care givers are an important part of your pet’s wellness assessment. True examination may require sedation and/or anesthetic to allow probing and intraoral radiographs [xrays]. If only the pets wouldn’t bite the film when they’re awake! From here, the true need of your pet’s mouth care can be determined. Under anesthetic, your pet’s mouth can be charted, cleaned, and polished. Additional work such as fillings, extractions, root canals and orthodontic work can be performed also.
The image to the left shows what healthy clean teeth look like. Quite the difference.
In summary, please consider your pet’s mouth when caring for their health. If you do not, it will surely come back to bite you!