Dental Care is Prevention Care

Dental Care is Prevention Care

Dental health is a very important part of your pet’s overall health, and untreated dental problems can result in severe pain.  Regular wellness exams by your veterinarian can be an important part of spotting, diagnosing and treating issues before they turn into something much bigger.  At Northwest Spay and Neuter Center, wellness and dental care are now part of our services for pet dogs and cats.  Making an appointment is easy, and our pricing makes this option an affordable way to keep your pet healthy.  

Your pet’s teeth and gums should be checked at least once a year by your veterinarian for early signs of problems and to keep your pet’s mouth healthy.  If you notice any of the following issues, you should make sure to get your pet in to see the veterinarian soon as they are often indicators that there is something wrong that needs addressed: 

  • Bad breath
  • Broken or loose teeth
  • Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
  • Teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
  • Abnormal chewing, drooling, or dropping food from the mouth
  • Reduced appetite or refusal to eat
  • Pain in or around the mouth
  • Bleeding from the mouth
  • Swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth

The most common oral disease in pets is periodontal disease.  Periodontal disease starts with plaque, which is a film of bacteria that sits near the gum line.  Humans brush plaque off twice a day, floss, and go to the dentist twice a year, but this type of care is uncommon in pets.  In pets that don’t receive regular home care, the plaque film persists which will irritate the gums and result in gingivitis.  Over time, the gums and bone around the teeth will recede in an effort to avoid the localized infection. This loss of tissue is periodontal disease.  Once teeth have lost 50% of their attachment apparatus, they are impossible to save without a great deal of effort – it is hard enough in people where you can ensure daily home care, but much harder in animals. Unfortunately, by the time most pets are 3 years of age, they have significant periodontal disease that results in the need for extractions.  Fortunately, just like humans, periodontal disease is one disease that we can prevent without a vaccine.  Prevention entails home care (see and regular professional cleanings.  

Aside from periodontal disease, fractured teeth are very common in animals with an estimated 25% of dogs having at least one fractured tooth. Fractured teeth can result in infections and facial swellings that are extremely painful.  Finally, up to 75% of domestic cats have a disease called tooth resorption.  This is not a well understood disease and is an area of active research.  However, we know from humans that this is a painful disease that needs treatment.  Affected cats may tilt their heads to the side while eating or may drop food. 

Northwest Spay and Neuter Center is proud to be a community resource for wellness and dental care.  Our caring and professional staff has been in the practice of high quality, affordable care since our inception.  While we are not a full service veterinarian for the life of your pet, we look forward to being able to offer wellness services and to include dental care alongside our spay/neuter options.  We can’t wait to meet your pet soon!  

Posted in

Share This Post