Periodontal disease is a serious concern for the general well being of ours pets.
Animals naturally hide pain from us even though they experience twice as much dental pain than people. . Many animals with severe, even life threatening, dental disease show minimal to no symptoms of discomfort or disease at all.
LET US SHOW YOU THE IMPORTANCE OF ANESTHETIC DENTAL CARE !
Pets need their teeth brushed daily just like humans.
Plaque will start to build up just 24 hours after a dental cleaning or tooth brushing. Plaque is the film on teeth when they are not brushed that, over time, will form into tartar or calculus. If plaque is not removed, it generates a biofilm. The biofilm is made up of millions of bacteria. This is what causes gingivitis, infections, periodontal disease, and abscesses in people and our pets.
Staging Dental Disease
Once tartar is allowed to accumulate, it is extremely
difficult to get rid of even with brushing and antibiotics.
The millions of bacteria that make up tartar can easily enter the blood stream through inflamed gum tissue (gingivitis) and cause infections in the heart and kidneys
Regular brushing clears the plaque and prevents these biofilms from forming.
Imagine not brushing your teeth everyday!
We can brush our teeth 2-3 times a day, get dental cleanings 2-3 times a year and still can get cavities.
Dogs and cats require the same level of dental care. Genetics (just as in people) can predispose certain dogs to having more severe periodontal disease and plaque build up.
Even with regular brushing and routine dental care at home, our pets may still require advanced dental care. First, we will start with a thorough exam of your pet’s mouth. Our findings and recommendations will be thoroughly discussed.
We want to make sure all of your questions are answered.
The above pictures show before and after an anesthetic dental cleaning. The after pictures show beautiful, polished teeth – the crowns appear very healthy! The dental x-ray to the right reveals the full extent of bone loss around the premolar roots – a hidden abscess with significant bone loss. Dental radiographs are essential to fully evaluate periodontal disease and appropriate treatment planning.
We may recommend a dental for the following reasons:
Plaque and tartar build up
Moderate to severe gingivitis
Infections / abscesses
Root or pulp exposure
Fractured (broken) teeth
At San Diego Bay, our dental machines are the latest and best in technology to allow for the most thorough deep cleaning. All dental cleanings are preformed under anesthesia and include ultrasonic scaling, followed by probing each tooth for disease, pain, pocketing, then polishing and a mouth rinse. This is designed to remove plaque and slow its buildup. It is critical to clean under the gum line ** this is why anesthesia free dentals do not really help our pets!
We use injectable anesthesia for local pain control before any extractions and believe in appropriate and thorough pain management.
It is our goal to keep your pet’s mouth healthy and pain free AND give you the knowledge to care for your pet at home after the dental.
Instructions On At Home Brushing
It’s important to start dental care as early as possible. If this is new to you, don’t worry! It IS possible to teach old dogs or cats new tricks.
The following applies to new and long-term pets.
DON’T RUSH TO BRUSH!
At SD Bay Animal Hospital we can first evaluate your pet’s teeth to address any existing dental problems.
*You don’t want to hurt your dog or cat by trying to brush an already painful mouth – that is not a good way to get your pet to enjoy tooth brushing ☺
In puppies we recommend to wait to brush until they have all their adult teeth and are done teething ~6 months.
We will tell you when your pet’s mouth is ready for brushing and at home care after a dental procedure. Usually 2 weeks after dental cleaning it is recommended to resume or begin brushing.
1. First, get your pet comfortable with being handled. Start by handling the mouth and face.
Massage the chin, the upper and lower jaws and hold the muzzle a few minutes several times a day
Reinforce good behavior / response with positive praise, treats, a favorite toy
Once your pet is comfortable with this, you can advance to step 2.
2. Start massaging and touching your pet’s teeth (be careful not to get bitten!)
Rub your fingers on the gums and over the outer surface of the teeth, including the back molars, both upper and lower jaws.
Do this several times a day until your pet is comfortable.
Praise, love, treats - reward the good behavior.
3. Massage the teeth with a small cloth, gauze, towel
Add in material when massaging the gums and teeth
Praise, love, treats
4. Advance to a soft tooth brush (no toothpaste yet)
Start gently with the gums and brush away from the gums
You can use a finger brush first if necessary
Don’t forget the molars in the back of the mouth. Be sure to cover all teeth
Praise, love, treats
5. Graduate to toothbrush and tooth paste
Only use tooth paste meant for dogs and cats
Enzymatic tooth paste is the best
• Human toothpaste can be toxic
Find a flavor of tooth paste your pet likes
The most important action is the physical brushing, actually removing plaque build up with the brush
If your pet doesn’t like the tooth paste – don’t use it
Brush from the gum to the tip of each tooth
Avoid water drinking for one hour after brushing
Praise, love, treats
Don’t rush to brush! Go slow. Don’t rush through the steps to tooth brushing if your pet is resisting.
Always praise your dog when they are doing what you want. Remember, they love you more than anything and praising them goes a long way.
Holding the head away from you can make them less squirmy when brushing.
You can brush cat teeth, too! The same slow steps apply.
Let us know at San Diego Bay should you have any questions. If your pet is resisting or seems painful, if you continue to see bleeding or smell infection, decreased appetite, pawing at the mouth, etc – we can help you! There may be disease that you can’t see or recognize. Schedule an exam. We’re a phone call away.