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02.08.16 Monday
February is National Pet Dental Health Month

Mission Animal Hospital believes every month is Dental Health Month. Facts show that cleaning your pet’s teeth regularly can prevent Periodontal Disease, increase the longevity and the overall health of your pet!

Here are some recent dentals performed by the staff at Mission Animal Hospital, demonstrating varied levels of dental disease.

Scout, a 12 year old Labrador Retriever mix w/ severe dental calculi causing early periodontal disease. At this stage, Scout’s teeth were able to be cleaned and polished. If this disease was left untreated, extractions would have been necessary to restore his mouth to a health state.

Ruby, an 8 year old mix-breed Chihuahua w/ stage 4 periodontal disease. This level of disease is very painful and can cause other significant full body health risks. Note: the server calculi and gingival recession. After cleaning the teeth, see the tooth root exposure and how the dental probe passes through the root sulcus. Most of these teeth require extraction to restore the mouth to a healthy state. Fortunately, dogs and cats can eat well without these structures.

What is Periodontal Disease (Dental Disease/Gingivitis)?

An inflammatory disease that affects the support structures of the dentition. It is categorized in 5 stages, 0-4: 0 being healthy (not pictured) and 4 being the worst.

The number one cause of periodontal disease (PD) is Plaque. Plaque is a bacterial bio-film that sticks to the crown of the tooth. If not removed within 24 to 48 hours it turns into calculi/tartar. This material causes the surface of the tooth to become rough, allowing more plaque to attach. This process leads to periodontal disease.

Two key components to prevent periodontal disease: Brushing every 24 - 48 hours and annual oral examination. Not all pets will need a professional dental cleaning annually, but they should be evaluated.

Some early warning signs of periodontal disease:

  • Bad breath
  • Excessive drooling
  • Dropping food while eating
  • Lack of appetite and/or energy
  • Rubbing face in carpet
  • “cranky” or “grumpy” attitude

If your pet is showing any of these signs, please call for an evaluation.

For more information regarding dental care, anesthetic dental cleaning or FAQ’s, please follow this link to the American Veterinary Dental College:

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