Why We Recommend Pet Dental Care
For your pet to stay fully healthy, they need more than yearly exams and vaccinations—they need pet dental care, too, and frequently. Bad breath is often the result of poor oral hygiene and a potential sign of dental disease or even a larger systemic problem.
At Monongahela Animal Hospital, we offer recommendations for maintaining your pet’s oral hygiene at home and scheduling regular checkups and teeth cleanings with our team.
"I’ve been taking my dogs here for around 20 years. Dr. Lusk truly cares about the animals. She has been great with my dogs and takes the time to talk to them to make them feel secure and comfortable with her. Her staff has been great, also."
What Makes Dental Disease a Serious Problem?
If your pet has dental disease, they could be having these problems:
- Difficulty eating
- Swollen, painful gums
- Loose and/or broken teeth
- Excessive drooling
- Facial swelling
- Lack of appetite
- Less interest in playing (especially with chew toys)
- Change in behavior (sleeping more often, hiding)
Additionally, dental disease can result in a larger systemic infection. It is possible for bacteria in the mouth to enter the blood stream and travel to the major organs, including the heart, kidneys, and liver. Your pet can become very sick and even have a shorter lifespan as a result.
How We Clean Your Pet's Teeth
If you are not brushing your pet’s teeth, they likely have plaque and tartar buildup above and below their gum line. We need to remove this material to eliminate harmful bacteria and delay future buildup. To do this successfully, we need to place your pet under anesthesia, which allows our team to perform a complete cleaning.
Our steps for cleaning your pet’s teeth include:
Hand scaling the teeth to remove tartar
Next using an ultrasonic scaler to clean above the gum line and using a curette to clean and smooth the tooth surface below the gum line and in the crevices between the teeth
Polishing your pet’s teeth and rinsing their gums with anti-bacterial solution to further slow plaque and tartar formation
What You Can Do at Home
If you just adopted a new puppy or kitten, try getting them used to teeth brushing as soon as possible. The sooner they’re accustomed to the process, the easier it will be for you to keep them on a regular brushing routine. If your pet is older and averse to brushing, we can offer other options for their care. Give us a call at (724) 258-8406 to request an appointment with one of our doctors.