Regular professional cleaning is important to maintaining your pet’s teeth and overall health. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have oral disease by the age of 3. It is the most frequently diagnosed health problem in pets and common signs include tarter buildup, red and swollen gums, bad breath, changes in eating or chewing habits, pawing at the face and general depression.
Your pet’s dental health should be evaluated at least once each year as bacteria and food debris accumulates around your pet’s teeth. This bacteria can cause deterioration of the soft tissue and bone surrounding the teeth and the resulting decay leads to irreversible periodontal disease and even tooth loss.
Dental disease affects other organs in the body as well: bacteria in the mouth can get into the blood stream and may cause serious kidney infections, liver disease, lung disease, and valvular heart disease. Dental disease may also indicate that another disease process is occurring elsewhere in your pet’s body.
At AMC we perform a thorough physical exam to assess your pet’s dental and overal health. We combine these findings with blood testing to ensure that they can tolerate the general anesthesia needed for dental care in pets. We ultrasonically clean each tooth above and below the gum line in the same way your dentist would clean your teeth. We use specialized dental xray equipment to assess the hidden structures of your pet’s mouth including bones and tooth roots. When we find damaged or infected teeth, they are preserved if possible using topical antibiotics or surgically removed if necessary.