Pet Dental Care FAQs
Pet dental health is an integral part of your pet's overall well-being.
In fact, research has found that having healthy teeth and gums can actually extend a pet's lifespan by as much as 2-5 years! Here at the Animal Medical Center, our Midlothian veterinarian staff strongly encourages local pet owners to bring their animals in for regular pet dental care.
Why is my Pet's Dental Health so Important?
Routine cleanings (and routine at-home care) can prevent dental problems from developing which could otherwise lead to pain, malnutrition, or in severe cases multi-system organ damage. This is because bacteria and toxins from diseased or injured teeth and gums can leach into the bloodstream and get into the hearts, lungs, and other parts of a cat's or dog's body. Dental health issues can also be painful for animals and impair their ability to eat.
How can I Tell if my Pet has a Dental Health Problem?
Signs and symptoms of pet dental issues include:
- Loose, discolored, broken, and missing (or extra) teeth
- Foul breath
- Tartar and plaque build up
- Receding, bleeding, bright pink, or pale gums
- Pain in the mouth
- Lumps, bumps, or swelling in and around the mouth
- Excessive drooling, difficulty eating or chewing, or refusal to eat
What Conditions are my Midlothian Veterinarians Looking for on a Pet Dental Exam?
The following conditions are a few of the most common pet dental issues we screen for and treat on dental examinations:
- Periodontal (gum) disease
- Infected or fractured teeth (including abscess or cavity)
- Broken jaw and/or palate defects
- Tumors or cysts in and around the mouth
When you bring your pet in to see us, we'll be putting it under general anesthesia so the animal stays comfortable and our Midlothian veterinarians can effectively clean and examine its mouth, teeth, and gums. We'll be sure to go over any questions you have about how to prepare your pet for the appointment and what sort of follow-up or plan of care may be indicated based on our findings.
We'll also be sure to educate you on how to take care of your pet's dental health at home in between visits. Strategies include: brushing your pet's teeth regularly with pet-safe products, offering pet-friendly chew toys to promote healthy and strong teeth and gums, and providing a diet that is rich in nutrients and low in artificial ingredients that would otherwise attract sugar-loving bacteria in the mouth!
“The staff, from reception to surgical technicians, made sure I was thoroughly appraised of what I needed to know to prepare for my cat's surgery, including possible complications. Their expertise and professionalism were on point. My cat's surgery went very well and he recuperated without any problems. I plan on taking him to Deer Run from now on for all routine care and any emergencies that arise.”