Did you know that it is dental disease that causes “doggy or kitty breath”? Gingivitis and dental disease are the most common problems pets face, affecting some toy breed dogs and cats as soon as adult teeth erupt, at about 6 months of age, though any breed of dog or cat may be affected at any age.So what to do? We recommend brushing your pet’s teeth, starting at a very young age, using pet toothpaste and a soft bristle brush.

 The general rule is daily, but certainly as often as you possibly can. Yes, even for cats!In a healthy mouth the teeth should appear clean, the gums a soft pink color, and the breath should be relatively pleasant. Signs of dental disease can be vague including poor appetite, a swelling of the face, dropping of food, blood on a favorite toy or treat, or a sudden change in breath odor. Dirty teeth, loose teeth, and bad breath are a major cause for concern. This means there is infection of the gums, which may spread to other parts of the body.

All pet dental care is performed under general anesthesia in order to thoroughly examine your pet's mouth for disease, ensure your pet's comfort and safety, and to properly clean and polish all surfaces of every tooth. Only once clean are the teeth assessed for problems such as periodontal pockets, cavities, fractures, etc. Unfortunately many patients with advanced dental disease require tooth extractions. Our Veterinarians are experienced in tooth extraction surgery, gingival flap procedures and administration of local nerve (novicaine-type) blocks to provide excellent pain relief postoperatively.

"Awake" Dentistry
Some places may offer “awake” pet dentistry – a very appealing notion. Everyone is afraid to subject their beloved pet to anesthesia. However, even the best behaved pet won’t remain still for dental care if their teeth hurt. Not only does “awake” dentistry not allow for proper above and below the gumline care, it could lead to serious injury. Sharp instruments may injure the mouth, or worse, the eyes, during “awake” dentistry. The safest, most humane, and the only thorough procedure for pet dental care is with anesthesia.We understand many pet owners are anxious about these procedures and welcome any questions you may have about your pet’s oral health.

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