Pet Dental Care in Orlando, FL
Downtown Pet Hospital
Dental care is vital to the overall health of any animal.
What is Dental Disease? Dental disease is a painful condition that occurs when bacteria, plaque, and tartar build up on the teeth and get trapped beneath the gum line. The bacteria can be absorbed into the bloodstream and wreak havoc on other major organs throughout the body. Here are 10 facts you need to know so you can be an advocate for your petís oral (and overall) health:
- Dental disease begins early in life. By the age of three, most dogs and cats have some degree of dental disease. The early signs of dental disease in pets include bad breath, yellow tartar buildup on the teeth, and red and swollen gums.
Early detection of your petís dental disease is vital. If left untreated, it will progress to cause chronic pain and inflammation. To detect dental disease before it negatively affects your petís quality of life, we recommend dental evaluations as part of your petís regular preventive care exam, which should take place at least once a year.
- Dental disease causes significant, chronic pain in pets. But animals are experts at hiding signs of pain, so the pain may go unnoticed by you. Instead, you may see that your pet is increasingly irritable and lethargic and has a decreased appetiteóchanges you may attribute to your petís advancing age or other lifestyle factors. But after a proper and thorough dental procedure, many pet owners report the emergence of ďa whole new petĒóone who is happier and more active.
- Radiographs are essential for diagnosing dental disease. After examining dental radiographs (X-rays) of cats and dogs with teeth that appeared normal to the naked eye, veterinarians found 27.8% of dogs and 41.7% of cats had diseased teeth.
- Anesthesia makes dental evaluation and treatment safer and less stressful for your pet. During your petís dental procedure, veterinarians and technicians use sharp, sterilized instruments. Animals donít like to hold still while X-rays are taken and these sharp instruments are used to clean their teeth. Placing your pet under anesthesia during the procedure allows your veterinarian to make a more accurate diagnosis and decrease the chance of complications.
- Anesthesia is much safer than you may think. Before anesthesia, your pet will be carefully screened with bloodwork and other tests to ensure she is free from underlying disease. During the dental procedure, a trained professional will be dedicated to continuously monitoring, recording vital signs, and communicating the findings to the veterinarian.
- Non-anesthetic dentistry is stressful, unsafe, and ineffective. Imagine multiple strangers holding you down and speaking a language you donít understand. Theyíre shining bright lights in your face and inserting sharp, scary instruments into your mouth that pinch and poke. This is what your pet would endure during a non-anesthetic dental procedure. Without anesthesia, itís impossible to obtain X-rays to see what lies beneath your petís gumline. It is also impossible to safely and effectively clean the teeth using those sharp instruments while the pet is awake.
- Removing plaque from teeth beneath the gum line is vital. In fact, itís even more important than scaling the portion of the teeth we can see. Bacteria thrive under the gumline, causing infections deep in the tooth root and jaw that can spread throughout the body and affect other organs, such as the heart and kidneys.
- Our veterinarians in Orlando, FL may create a personalized pain protocol to keep your pet comfortable. Although your pet will be anesthetized during a tooth extraction, numbing/local anesthetic medications will decrease the amount of general anesthetic needed and can last up to eight hours after the procedure, allowing your pet to rest in comfort. Our veterinarians can tailor your petís prescription pain medication to match the procedure so they can recover peacefully at home.
- Home care is an essential part of taking care of your petís oral health. Brushing your cat or dogís teeth every day will promote good oral health and prevent potentially expensive surgeries down the road. Itís easier than you think: There are even special pet toothpastes flavored like beef, chicken, fish, and peanut butter. (Note: Never use human toothpaste, which can contain ingredients like xylitol that are toxic to animals.)
- Not all pet dental products are created equal. If you arenít able to brush your petís teeth as often as youíd like, consider using other dental products designed to help maintain your petís oral hygiene. Be sure to look for products approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC). Products that arenít approved by the VOHC, or those that are too hard to bend or break easilyólike animal antlers and bones, synthetic bones, and othersócan easily fracture your petís teeth.
The most effective way to protect your pet from dental disease is through professional cleanings. We perform thorough cleanings, including the area beneath the gums that you cannot see or access at home. If your pet has brown/yellow teeth, bad breath, or is having difficulty eating, these could all be signs of dental disease. Please call us today to learn more and schedule an appointment at Downtown Pet Hospital in Orlando, FL.