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Is Your Dog in Need of a Dental Cleaning?

Is Your Dog in Need of a Dental Cleaning?

Did you know that dental care for your pet is just as important as it is for us? But how will you know when it's time for a visit to the dog dentist? In today's post, our Bedford veterinary dentists share the signs that your dog is in need of dental cleaning and how you can help clean your dog's teeth at home.

The Importance of Dental Cleaning For Dogs

The oral health of your dog can have an effect on their entire body. Many dogs have not received enough dental care and will experience gum disease by the time they reach 3 years of age.

Preventive and proactive care is crucial as dogs that are experiencing gum disease are at a higher risk of developing heart disease.

The occurrence of heart disease is due to the bacteria which take hold of the teeth and gums but eventually can enter the bloodstream making their way through the internal organs and eventually the heart. These health issues are in addition to the more obvious problem of pain caused by eroded gums, and missing or damaged teeth.

Luckily, you can help protect your dog's dental health by offering dental chews and brushing your dog's teeth on a daily basis. Nonetheless, the best way to ensure that your pup’s mouth stays clean and healthy is to take your dog to the vet for an annual dental exam and hygiene cleaning.

Neglecting annual professional cleaning could put your dog at risk of developing gingivitis, periodontal disease, bad breath, and in severe cases pain, tooth decay, and tooth loss.

Are there any concerns with dental cleanings?

Any procedure performed under anesthesia comes with risks that's why our vets assess all pets to ensure that they are healthy enough to handle anesthesia and we conduct additional diagnostics if required to ensure that a dental exam while anesthetized is safe for your pet.

When should I bring my dog in for teeth cleaning?

In order to help prevent the development of dental disease and advanced tooth decay, our vet dentists in Bedford recommend bringing your dog in for a dental appointment annually, or more frequently if they are suffering from more severe or recurring dental problems.

Your dog dentist will sedate your dog for safety and ease of access to their mouth and spend the appointment examining each of their teeth and oral structures.

During this dental visit, the veterinary dentist will also perform a thorough cleaning of all of the teeth and below the gum line. We probe and x-ray the teeth, then to help protect against future decay and damage we use a fluoride treatment before applying a dental sealant to prevent plaque buildup.

If your dog is already showing the signs of dental disease then your vet will help you create a dental care plan to restore your dog's oral health.

The Signs That Your Dog Needs Dental Cleaning

When you bring your dog to Fine Animal Hospital for a dental checkup our vet dentists will complete an oral exam and look for the following signs of dental disease:

  • Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
  • Bleeding around the mouth
  • Swelling or pain in or around the mouth
  • Plaque or tartar buildup on teeth
  • Discolored teeth
  • Loose or
  • Broken teeth
  • Bad breath

If you detect symptoms of periodontal disease in your pet, such as reduced appetite (which can be an indication of tooth pain), abnormal chewing, drooling, dropping food from the mouth, bad breath or other symptoms be sure to contact your vet right away to schedule a dental appointment for your pet. If your dog is experiencing dental disease they are likely in a great deal of pain and if left untreated, their condition could deteriorate and cause serious complications.

Will your dog need recovery time after a dental cleaning?

All dogs are different but you can expect your pooch to begin recovering from the anesthetic within a few hours, although in some cases it can take 24-48 hours to fully recover. If you notice that your dog is drowsy and doesn't seem to be eating much don't fret, this is completely normal.

What is the cost of dog dental cleanings?

The cost of dog dental cleaning varies widely due to a number of factors including the size of your dog, the condition of your dog's teeth, where you live, and your individual vet. Your vet dentist in Bedford will be able to provide you with an accurate estimate of the overall cost of the dental appointment.

That said, more invasive and expensive procedures - and surgeries - could be avoided with regular veterinary dental care. Regular care will allow your vet to take proactive steps to help avoid advanced tooth decay and gum disease that can lead to pain, tooth loss, and jaw deterioration.

How can I help to care for my dog's teeth at home?

You care for your pet and their overall health and that includes their dental health. Here are some of the things you can do to help care for your dog's teeth:

  • Use a finger brush from your vet, or a child’s toothbrush to brush your pet’s teeth daily to remove any plaque or debris. It's as simple as brushing your own teeth. If your dog resists having their teeth cleaned try some doggie toothpaste in flavors your pooch will find irresistible. These special toothpaste can turn a chore into a treat.
  • Use a plaque prevention product (your vet can recommend some), which you can apply to your pet’s teeth and gums. These products act as a barrier to prevent plaque buildup.
  • Offer your pup treats such as dental chews or food designed to help prevent plaque buildup and tartar.

Dog and cat dental care is an important part of your pet's overall health. Be sure to book your pet's annual dental appointment today, they will thank you.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your dog showing signs of dental discomfort? Contact our Bedford dog and cat dentists right away to book an examination for your canine companion.

We're accepting new patients! Book your pet's first appointment today.

(914) 666-8061 Contact