Regular dental examinations allow us to have a close look at the inside of your pet’s mouth to check for overall health as well as screen for a range of potential issues, including tooth problems, gum disease, or other symptoms that could either be a sign of underlying problems or lead to more significant issues down the road.
Pets tend to hide their pain as part of an instinct leftover from their ancestors, so it can be tough to know if your pet is experiencing problems with their oral hygiene. Here are some signs to watch for:
If you notice any of these symptoms, bring your pet in for a dental examination right away.
After a dental examination, we may recommend a dental cleaning. These cleanings go beyond just helping your pet’s teeth sparkle, they also help improve oral health and prevent serious issues such as gum disease and infections.
Generally, your pet won’t need to be sedated during cleanings, but if they’re experiencing tooth or other oral pain, it may be recommended so that they don’t experience discomfort during the procedure. Otherwise, tooth cleaning is non-invasive and relatively painless for healthy pets.
If we find the need to remove teeth or perform any other more serious procedures, we’ll always speak to you first and outline the details of what we recommend.
Dental radiography allows us to use advanced imaging to see below the gumline, which is often where plaque and gum disease are hiding from the naked eye. After a dental examination or cleaning, we may recommend digital radiography to get a more complete picture of your pet’s oral and dental health.
Radiography is painless and non-invasive, and involves creating a digital image of the inside of your pet’s mouth - particularly below the gumline. If you have questions about digital radiography and what it means for you and your pet, feel free to reach out with any questions.
As with human oral health, the most important and ongoing care happens at home. Even animals with generally healthy mouths can benefit from some tweaks to their at-home dental care regimen, ranging from chewable teeth cleaning treats to the occasional brush.
Don’t worry, you’re not on your own when it comes to dialing in your pet’s at-home dental care. Our team at Harvester Veterinary Hospital will always be happy to provide guidance, tips, and tools to make at-home care safe, effective, and painless for you and your pet.
Remember - it’s much easier to prevent oral diseases and infections than it is to treat them, so always take your pet’s oral health seriously. And remember, we’ll be by your side every step of the way.