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Pet Dental Care: Giving Annapolis MD Area Pets & Owners Something to Smile About
The next time you’re debating whether to share a tasty tidbit with your dog or cat, you may want to consider this: 75% of pets over the age of 3 have dental disease. If left untreated, symptoms such as bad breath and unsightly stains could evolve into something much more serious. That’s why at Bay Country Veterinary Hospital, we believe that good dental health is an essential part of your pet’s overall wellness plan.
Genetics and environment each play a role in the health of your pet’s teeth over time. Unlike pet vaccinations, there is no set schedule or rule as to when your dog or cat may need additional dental care. That said, here are some warning signs that could indicate your pet has a problem:
- Bad breath (this is one of the first signs of pet dental disease)
- A yellowish-brown crust of plaque on the teeth near the gum line
- Red/swollen gums
- Pain or bleeding when your pet eats or when his or her mouth or gums are touched
- Decreased appetite or difficulty eating
- Loose or missing teeth
If a pet has any of these symptoms, it could be a sign of periodontal disease. This is a painful inflammatory condition in which bacteria attack the gums, ligaments, and bones that surround and support the teeth. If this condition goes untreated, bacteria from an oral infection could enter the pet’s bloodstream and vital organs, potentially causing life-shortening damage to the pet’s lungs, heart, kidneys, liver, and even the brain. Thankfully, this outcome can be avoided.
Did you know? Nearly 85% of pets have some degree of periodontal disease by the age of two. The good news is that there are ways to prevent the progression of periodontal disease. Recommended by the Veterinary Oral Health Council, we carry a water additive called Dog Essential Healthy Mouth that has been clinically proven to reduce plaque. This is a simple home dental care tool to prolong the health of your pet's mouth!
Additional care - We offer the option for additional care to puppies younger than 6 months old, elderly pets, and special needs pets, providing additional walks and evaluations for those with more extensive requirements.
Therapeutic Dental Cleaning
Our professional pet care staff is highly trained in the latest veterinary dentistry techniques. If your dog or cat requires teeth cleaning, rest assured that he or she will be in good hands.
This procedure will require that your pet be anesthetized. Please visit our veterinary surgery section to learn more about what’s involved and the specific precautions we take to ensure your pet’s well-being.
When your pet receives a comprehensive oral health assessment and treatment (dental cleaning), he will receive full mouth x-rays to evaluate for oral disease beneath the gums. This is arguably the most important step of the process, as 60% of dental disease may not be visible! If you've ever had a root canal, this makes perfect sense - your tooth looked normal from the outside because the infection was located at the tip of the tooth root. Dental x-rays allow the veterinarian to diagnose and treat potential problems during the anesthetic episode. Left untreated, dental disease may cause pain, infection, and harm to other organs of the body.
If you would like additional information about pet dental care and the veterinary dentistry services we provide, please contact us!