Category Archives: Pet Dental Care

Help! My Pet Broke a Tooth!

Dogs and cats explore the world with their mouths, and chewing, biting, gnawing, and chomping are parts of that exploration. It probably comes as no surprise that chipped and broken teeth are common occurrences among pets that many veterinarians see on a weekly basis.

Besides being unsightly, a broken tooth can spell big trouble for a pet. If the pulp (internal blood supply of the tooth) is exposed, bacteria can gain access to the root, leading to tooth and bone loss. Systemic infection throughout the body may result as the bacteria leak from the root into the bloodstream.

What would you do if your pet broke a tooth? Call your friendly team at West Park Animal Hospital, of course!

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Pet Dental Health: Why it Matters

WestPark - Leon_iStock_000031982520_Large (1)It’s easy to underestimate the importance of a pet’s dental hygiene – that is until a problem pops up. Sadly, that doggie breath that you’ve come to know and love is usually the first indication that something is amiss with your pet’s oral health, and could signal a dangerous, not to mention costly, disease.

A vast majority of pets have some form of dental disease, but we can change those statistics with a little elbow grease and dedication. Together, let’s change the fate of your pet’s future and add dental care to the list of health requirements.

Pet Dental Health – The Missing Link

It makes sense that an infection in the mouth can affect other parts of the body, such as the heart, kidneys, and liver. The link between oral health and certain medical conditions like diabetes and cancer undoubtedly gets our attention and we spend considerable time examining the teeth, gums, and mouths of our furry friends.

Dental disease is the most common disease we see and treat. Any of the following symptoms should be treated expeditiously:

  • Foul breath (halitosis)
  • Drooling
  • Broken or worn teeth
  • Bleeding from mouth
  • Loss of appetite or eating difficulty
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Discolored teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Swollen mouth, gums, or jaws
  • Inflamed gums
  • Pain while eating
  • Behavioral changes

Following your pet’s wellness exam, we may recommend a specific cleaning schedule, at-home dental care routine, or special treatment. Digital x-rays give us enormous insight into your pet’s present dental health and help us see exactly what your pet needs.

A Cause For Concern?

Of course, it can be frightening for pets and their owners to undergo anesthesia for a dental cleaning or procedure. True, anesthesia is not without risk and we take that seriously before administering it. Through blood work, we will be able to ascertain how strong your pet is and what level of anesthesia will be necessary.

The benefits related to a dental cleaning or procedure far outweigh the risk of anesthesia and we will work with you and your pet closely to make sure he or she remains safe at all times.

Brushing Routine

Dedicated care at home is another vital piece of your pet’s dental care puzzle. Daily brushing is highly recommended to help prevent plaque and tartar build-up, bad breath, and oral infections.

By investing in your pet’s dental health now, you are actively reducing the risk of decay leading to heart, kidney, and liver disease. We will advise you on the best ways to brush your pet’s teeth and, if you meet resistance, don’t give up! Your pet needs you to follow through and keep trying. Check out these informative links to support brushing your cat’s or dog’s teeth.

Why Pet Dental Care Counts

The field of pet dentistry is growing by leaps and bounds and all that we know now can only benefit pets. The combination of keeping up with regular wellness visits paired with adopting preventative dental care practices at home will extend your pet’s precious life.

Keeping your pet happier and pain-free is what it’s all about and we are here to answer any questions, or schedule your pet’s dental examination.