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May the tooth be with you…

Our pets need to keep their teeth clean, white and bright. Flip those lips and smell that breath, we’re all about encouraging gentle dental health. More than 85% of our companion animals will have some form of dental disease by the age of three years if a proactive approach to dental health has not been started at an early age. We really hate to have to extract diseased teeth that could have been prevented by some home care on our parts. Let us show you with a brief but explanatory examination how you can protect the oral health with regular dental examinations and adjustments to home care routines that can be very effective in keeping your pet’s mouth healthy. Poor oral health has far reaching effects on the working of other body systems; most commonly the heart and the kidney filter functions that can compromise the proper working of these important systems.

Some breeds may be more prone to dental disease based on facial structure and tooth position. All dogs are supposed to have 42 teeth in their mouths positioned for normal pulling and chewing. In some of our cute little “pushed-in” faced or brachycephalic breeds, there just isn’t enough space and room for all those teeth, so some teeth may be rotated or poorly positioned for normal cleaning processes. Some breeds can actually be allergic to their own plaque, setting the stage for accelerated dental problems, and other breeds have a genetic propensity for inherited problems. There is an age-related incidence of periodontal disease which includes the tendency for fractured and infected teeth the older our pets get.

There are many choices in maintaining good and healthy teeth. While tooth brushing with a pet-appropriate toothpaste is the best (remember they can’t spit or rinse so we cannot use our own people toothpastes that have foaming agents and high concentrations of fluoride), we have a choice of dental foods, dental treats, rinses, water additives, gels, wipes and sprays that can be used together to help in-home care. There are options for every patient to receive good dental care, just ask us and let us show you. We will start with what the dental exam reveals and point out areas of concern with our assessment. Then we will attach a grade to the dental status or periodontal disease so we can monitor and follow with treatment recommendations that may include home care as well as scheduled in-hospital procedures. Regular professional care and a tailored home care program can help to keep your furry friend’s mouth healthy and tongue-lickingly sweet.

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