Do you brush your pet’s teeth regularly at home? If the answer is yes, then you have made a great start on looking after your pet’s teeth. Regular brushing is one of the most important things that you can do to help your pet to retain her teeth and protect her from the unpleasant effects and conditions associated with poor dental health. Nevertheless, many owners do not realise that there is another crucial aspect of their pet’s dental care that they need to fulfil – taking their furbaby for regular professional dental cleans.
What are professional pet dental cleanings?
Brushing your pet’s teeth at home takes practice, but even the most experienced owner and relaxed pet may miss important areas of the mouth when cleaning. A professional pet dental cleaning is an opportunity for our veterinary dentist to do a total and complete clean of every surface of your furry friend’s teeth and mouth and is the only way to truly get her teeth clean.
The use of anesthetic in pet dental cleanings
Most veterinarians recommend doing professional pet dental cleanings while your pet is put to sleep using general anesthetic. This causes some concern for many owners, but the majority of experts and veterinary professionals agree that the use of anesthesia makes the process much safer for pets. An animal who is awake will struggle to cooperate with the instructions of the vet and may not be able to hold her mouth open long enough or remain still for the procedure to be carried out.
By immobilizing your furbaby, Mobley Veterinary Clinic ensures that they can get the access needed to perform a thorough clean, without causing distress to your pet. A general anesthetic also keeps your pet perfectly still, reducing the risks associated with the use of tools in the cleaning process. Finally, your furry friend is asleep for the duration of the process, which will reduce the stress that she feels. When she wakes up after the cleaning, you can shower her in love and affection to reassure her.
Don’t worry – your pet will be thoroughly assessed to make sure that they are a suitable candidate for anesthesia before the dental cleaning begins.
Why are professional pet dental cleanings so important?
Dental problems can be just as debilitating for the furry members of your family as they can for humans. Pain, unpleasant symptoms and the potential to affect your wider health are just some of the complications experienced by pets with poor dental health.
Periodontal disease is the biggest threat to your pet’s dental health, and most cats and dogs will display some degree of the condition by the time they reach their third birthday. It is caused by the accumulation of plaque along the gum line, where it causes irritation and eventually infection. Periodontal disease is irreversible, but its progression can be halted with prompt treatment. Left untreated, it can cause problems such as loss of gum tissue and jaw bone, which put’s your pet’s teeth at risk of falling out. Infections caused by periodontal disease can also spread to other parts of the body through the blood stream, including the major organs such as the liver and heart.
By ensuring that your pet has proper dental cleanings on a regular basis (most vets recommend cleaning every 6-12 months depending on the condition of your pet’s teeth), you can help prevent:
- Periodontal disease
- Pain and other debilitating symptoms
- Tooth loss
- Problems with her general health
- The need for invasive dental treatment
- Expensive veterinary bills
You can also help ensure that your pet lives a longer, happier life. Some studies show that pets with good dental health could live up to five years more than those with bad teeth.
To find out more about pet dental problems, or to arrange your pet’s dental cleaning, contact us and speak to our local, trusted veterinarian at Mobley Veterinary Clinic.