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Oral Hygiene is Important for Your Pet’s Overall Health

Dental equipment

Oral hygiene is an often-overlooked aspect of animal health, but one that deserves more attention. Both dogs and cats are susceptible to tartar buildup, gingivitis, and gum disease—conditions that can lead to much more than mouth discomfort. When gum disease in animals is left untreated, bacteria can travel to the heart and other organs, leading to severe illnesses and even death from organ failure.

Most dogs and cats should have their teeth professionally cleaned once each year. More frequent cleanings may be recommended depending upon your dog’s breed and oral health history.

At Bayshore Animal Hospital, we will clean your pet’s teeth using the latest equipment for cleaning (and drilling if necessary). Our digital dental x-rays can quickly spot any problems hiding beneath the surface.

Dental cleanings do require that your pet is put under anesthesia. We will perform pre-anesthetic blood testing as an added measure of safety, and we follow strict anesthesia guidelines established by AAHA. Your pet’s condition will be closely monitored at all times by our staff to ensure that your pet’s procedure unfolds safely.

Anesthesia allows for a much more thorough cleaning (we can get beneath the gum line), it’s less stressful for your pet, and makes it possible for us to take accurate digital x-rays.

Your doctor will take a peek at your pet’s teeth at every wellness exam and recommend a cleaning schedule, but if you notice any of the following signs between visits, please give us a call:

  • Chronic bad breath
  • Swollen or bleeding gums
  • Excessive salivation and/or pawing at the mouth
  • Difficulty eating (or not wanting to eat at all)
  • Lumps on the gums
  • Loose or missing teeth