Dental health forms a very vital component of the overall health of your pet. It is important to note that dental problems can be caused by, or can cause other health problems in pets, as is the case in human beings. It is recommended and advised that you should have the gums and teeth of your pet checked by your veterinarian at least once every year. By so doing, it will be possible to have early signs of a potential problem identified and treated. This way, you will be able to keep the mouth of your pet healthy.
Pet dental services should be offered by a professional veterinary dentist. This is a veterinarian who is trained to offer services such as repair, extraction, filing, adjustment and cleaning of pet teeth, and generally all the other oral health care elements. Because of the sensitivity and complexity of these procedures, they should be performed by board-certified and registered veterinary dentist or veterinarian. Subject to the regulation by states or provinces in the U.S., veterinary clinicians may be allowed to perform some certain dental procedures while under supervision of professional veterinarian.
The process should start with oral examination of the mouth of your pet. X-rays, also known as radiographs may be required so as to evaluate health of tooth roots and jaw below gumline. Since most dental diseases affect below gumline, which can’t be seen, a veterinarian will perform the dental evaluation and cleaning when the pet is under general anesthesia. The process of pet dental cleaning includes scaling the teeth so as to get rid of tartar and dental plague. It also includes polishing the teeth, as it happens in the human dental cleanings.
Signs of dental problems in pets
Although you should have a veterinarian check the dental health of your pet at least once every year, ensure that you immediately seek pet dental services if you observe any of the following symptoms:-
- Loose or broken teeth.
- Bad breath.
- Teeth covered in tartar or discolored.
- Abnormal drooling, chewing or dropping of food from mouth.
- Refusal to eat or reduced appetite.
- Pain around or in the mouth.
- Bleeding from mouth.
- Swelling in the areas which surround the mouth.
Some pets, such as cats tend to become irritable when having dental problems. Generally, any sudden or gradual change in the normal behavior of your pet should prompt you to consult a veterinarian.
CAUTION: do not try to examine your pet for dental problems. If the animal experiences any pain, it may bite you. Always put on gloves and other appropriate safety gear when handling pets so as to reduce the likelihood of contracting zoonotic diseases.
Just like any other condition, prevention is better than cure when it comes to your pet’s oral health. Do not wait until the time when your pet is visibly sick, has difficult eating, emits bad smell from mouth, so that you can seek pet dental services. If your pet has not been checked by a veterinarian for a while, the time to seek these services is now.