Vet Blog

Does My Dog Need Professional Oral Care?

February 17, 2019

Taking care of your dog's teeth is part of being responsible for his overall health and wellbeing.

As his owner, it is up to you to undertake those aspects of his care that he cannot do for himself, such as ensuring that his teeth are clean, in good condition, and not having a negative effect on any part of his life. While there are many things that you can do for your dog's oral care, such as brushing his teeth regularly and offering him dental treats, it is also essential to seek the advice and support of a professional pet dentist in East Nashville, TN.

Professional oral care, often simply referred to as pet dentistry, is a group of services that is not dissimilar to that what your dentist would provide to you and your family. These are designed to ensure that your delightful dog has teeth that are functioning correctly and are as healthy as possible. Your pet dentist is also concerned with the overall health and condition of your dog's oral cavity - aka, his mouth. This is because not all oral problems involve the teeth. Sometimes they can affect the gums, the palate, the tongue, or the insides of the cheeks. A perfect example is oral tumors, which often form on the soft tissue around or next to the teeth.

What Does Professional Oral Care for Dogs Involve?

Professional oral care for your dog comprises a few different elements.

Assessment of Your Dog's Teeth

The first is a regular appointment so that your pet dentist at Mobley Veterinary Clinic in East Nashville, TN can assess the health and condition of your dog's teeth. This is the canine equivalent of a human dental check-up and will look at various aspects of your dog's mouth and teeth including:

  • Assessing the health of his gums and checking for signs of periodontal disease
  • Looking to see if there are any areas of decay
  • Evaluating the amount of plaque and calculus that has accumulated on your dog's teeth
  • Looking for the presence of oral abscesses
  • Checking for retained baby teeth
  • Looking for signs of tumors
  • Examining the mouth and jaw for signs of trauma
  • Assessment of all structures inside his mouth
  • Checking his muzzle, neck, and the glands

If there is any cause for concern, your pet dentist can talk to you about what needs to happen next in terms of further examination, testing, or treatment.

Verbal Consultation

Your veterinarian in Nashville, TN, or pet dentist understands the best ways to keep your dog's teeth as healthy as possible, and so your pet's dental check-up appointment will almost certainly also involve a verbal consultation. During this chat, your pet dentist will speak to you about your dog's general health and his medical and dental history (if they do not already know it), the type of diet that he is eating, and whether or not he receives any oral care at home. This information can be important in determining the advice your pet dentist gives you so that you can ensure what you are doing is beneficial to your furry friend's dental health.

A Professional Clean

A professional dental clean is normally carried out while your dog is under general anesthesia. This is for his safety as well as his comfort. Not only will he not become anxious or stressed about the prospect of what is happening to him, but he will be fast asleep and so will not need to comply with any instructions. This means that your experienced pet dentist can access his mouth fully without fear of him moving and causing him an accidental injury. Your pet dentist also has the time needed to do a thorough job of cleaning his teeth with the specialist equipment that he has, leaving your dog's teeth far cleaner than is possible to achieve yourself at home.

Although some owners have concerns about the use of general anesthesia for dental cleaning, experts agree that the benefits of a professional-grade clean far outweigh the small level of risk associated with the practice.

Do All Dogs Need Professional Oral Care?

It is recommended that all dogs receive professional oral care regardless of their breed, age or location. This is because a pet dentist has the specialist knowledge and training to be able to identify potential dental problems and carry out professional-level cleaning. Exactly how often your dog will need to visit your pet dentist or veterinarian will vary, and it is important that you adhere to the recommendations made by your Nashville, TN Vet.

If you would like to find out more about professional oral care for your dog, or if you would like to schedule an appointment with our experienced pet dentistry team, please contact us at (615) 262-0415 where our vets in Nashville, TN are happy to help.