Phoenix Pet Dental Care
Pets suffer dental diseases just like humans, from cavities to gum disease to periodontitis, the most serious oral disease. Unless plaque is regularly removed from their teeth by a professional cleaning and brushing, it will mineralize, harden and form a destructive substance called tartar. Build-up of tartar at the gumline attracts anerobic bacteria that can destroy tooth enamel, gum tissue and even erode supporting bone.
Signs Your Pet May Have Dental Issues
Cats with teeth and/or gum disease may:
- Have unusually bad breath
- Bleed from the mouth (not attributed to a lip wound)
- Avoid eating dry food or crunchy treats
- Paw randomly at their mouth
- Chew on only one side of their mouth
- Vomit because food cannot be properly chewed and digested
- Have a fever and act lethargic
Dogs with teeth and/or gum disease may:
- Reluctantly gnaw on dry food (most of it may drop out of the dog's mouth)
- Drool more than usual (saliva may be tinged with blood)
- Have chronic halitosis (breath may smell rancid, like an infected wound)
- Shake his head constantly
- Avoid chewing on his favorite toys or chew bones
- Exhibit unusual aggressiveness or growl when approached, especially if the pain has increased
Treating Pet Dental Problems
Preventing oral disease from affecting your pet's overall well-being starts with brushing his teeth at home several times a week and taking him to the veterinarian for annual checkups. Although a common gum disease called gingivitis is reversible in its early stages, gingival recession and periodontitis are not. Heavy plaque and tartar buildup will cause gums to swell, bleed and recede, leaving sensitive dental enamel exposed to bacteria that quickly disintegrate your pet's teeth.
Veterinary Care for Your Pet's Oral Health
For dog and cat owners living in Phoenix, pet dental care at the North Cental Animal Hospital includes cleanings and examinations for dogs and cats as well as procedures to remove problematic teeth, scrape off hardened tartar and eliminate painful gum infections.
Prior to treating your pet, the vet may recommend having a complete blood count and chemistry panel done to ensure your pet does not have a blood infection or other silent disease. After giving your pet a pre-anesthetic sedative, the veterinarian will establish an IV and then inject a short-acting anesthetic into your pet.
Teeth cleanings are done using an ultrasonic instrument. After polishing the teeth, a pet-friendly fluoride substance is daubed on dental enamel to protect and strengthen your pet's teeth. While your pet is asleep, the veterinarian will remove any loosened or damaged teeth, clean bacteria out of gingival pockets and thoroughly inspect your pet's mouth for signs of abnormal growths or ulcers.
North Cental Animal Hospital cares deeply about keeping your pet as healthy and happy as possible for as long as possible. Make sure your pet enjoys optimal oral health by having his teeth and gums examined and cleaned regularly and bringing him to our clinic at the first sign of dental distress.