dentalDoes your best friend have bad breath? Despite what many pet owners may believe, “dog breath” is not just a nuisance – it’s a sign of an unhealthy mouth. Bad breath is caused by bacteria. Over time, bacteria lead to plaque and tartar buildup on your pet’s teeth. The result is bad breath, reddened gums, and other serious health problems such as heart disease and kidney disease. How do you know if your pet has a healthy mouth? Let us examine your pet’s teeth and gums to help determine if there are any dental issues you should know about. After a brief visual examination, we may recommend a more detailed examination (which requires sedation), a dental cleaning, which may include extractions or options for at-home dental care.

Even if you’re using treats and chews to help control tartar, these are frequently not enough to keep dental disease in check. Ask us about the best ways to control plaque and help protect your pet from dental disease.

Dental health shouldn’t be taken for granted. Fortunately, many dental problems can be managed through at-home care and by bringing your pet to us for regular dental checkups and teeth cleanings.

We want your pet to live a long, healthy life, and we understand that maintaining a healthy mouth is part of that. All wellness exams include a thorough evaluation of your pet’s dental health and will be summarized into one of the following categories:

Dental Grade 0: Nice job! No sign of plaque of calculus. Home dental care is needed to maintain these healthy teeth and gums. Brushing your pet’s teeth regularly is ideal. There are also products to make home dental care easier.

Dental Grade 1: Stage 1 Gingivitis. The margin of attached gum is inflamed and swollen. Plaque covers teeth. Home dental care is needed. If there is no improvement, dental cleaning will be needed to remove current plaque buildup. This stage is reversible with treatment.

Dental Grade 2: Early Periodontitis. Increased inflammation with sub gingival plaque and calculus. No root exposure. Is reversible with treatment.

Dental Grade 3: Established Periodontitis. The gums are red and bleed easily; they have been permanently damaged by the calculus and infection. The mouth may appear sore and bad breath is evident. The teeth must be cleaned and a thorough assessment of the periodontal disease is needed immediately. A calculus control diet and home care are needed afterward to prevent recurrence.

Dental Grade 4: Advanced Periodontitis. Chronic infection is destroying the gums, teeth, and supporting bone. Bacteria are spreading through the body via the bloodstream and may damage vital organ systems. Dental cleaning and assessment of periodontal disease is needed immediately. Some teeth may need extraction. Home dental care will be needed afterwards to stop progression of this disease.