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Indepth Pet Dental Care

What You Should Know About Pet Dentals:
What You Should And Should Not Do!

The Facts About Pet Dental Health

Did you know that. . .

  • Pet dental disease is the most common disease in adult dogs and cats, and is entirely preventable.
  • By age three, 70 percent of cats and 80 percent of dogs have some form of dental disease and are in clear need of pet dental services.
  • If left untreated, dental disease can lead to serious consequences for your pet’s health, including severe pain, bad breath, gum disease, tooth loss, and damage to internal organs?
  • 70 percent of your pet’s teeth are hidden underneath the gum line where most infection occurs.
  • Chronic infections can spread to the major organs, where they can seriously compromise your pet’s health.
  • A non-anesthetic dental is NOT an effective treatment for these issues. See our non-anesthetic dental video below for details.

If these facts come as a surprise, don’t be too alarmed. You’re in good company. Most pet owners are just as surprised as you are to find out pet dental services are one of the most important aspects of pet health.

They do explain, however, why good oral health is such an integral part of overall pet health and why your pet should always have an annual oral exam.

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The Effects of Improper Dental Cleaning

Non-anesthetic Dentals Can Degrade Not Just Your Pet’s Teeth But Also His Internal Organs

Here’s the anatomy of pet oral health: just like us, pets build up plaque on their teeth which, over time, turns to tartar, the hardened more bullet-proof form of plaque (it’s the stuff you get scraped off your teeth when you get your teeth cleaned).

Plaque and tartar carry bacteria, and not a kind that are good for your pet. Left to their own devices, these bacteria insinuate themselves into your pet’s gums, causing the gums to first become inflamed (a condition called gingivitis), and if left untreated, begin receding from the teeth. This causes the bond between the gums and the teeth to weaken and become porous.

That’s when the real problems begin.

Now, not only are the teeth not held as firmly as they should be, but also the nasty bacteria have been given safe passage into that 70 percent of the tooth below the gum line and, from there, into your pet’s bloodstream. Then it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to your pet’s internal organs. As this video will explain, even though all of this is completely preventable, it is still the most common clinical condition in cats and dogs.

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Preventive Step 1: Learn The Key Signs of Pet Dental Disease

    Pet Dental Care
  • Bad breath
  • Loss of appetite (Advanced disease can lead to mouth pain as well as loose teeth and may make eating difficult.)
  • Excessive drooling
  • Inflamed gums
  • Tumors in the gums (best diagnosed by your veterinarian)
  • Cysts under the tongue
  • Loose teeth
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive drinking or urinating

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Preventive Step 2: The Annual Exam

kirkland Pet Dental Care exam

We’re right back to that annual oral exam. It catches problems while they’re minor and easily treated. Prevention is the simple and vastly less expensive solution to the problem.

Your veterinarian may recommend a dental, which will involve a thorough cleaning of your pet’s teeth, checking for broken teeth, ulcers, and tumors, as well as for problems below the gum line where periodontal disease starts. He or she will clean and polish the teeth, preferably with ultrasonic scaling tools, and then rinse the gums above and below the gum line with an antibacterial solution to help delay plaque build-up and reduce the chance of infection. A fluoride treatment may be applied and then a dental sealant to strengthen teeth and desensitize exposed roots.

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Preventive Step 3: Brush Your Pet's Teeth

kirkland pet teeth brushing

You can and should brush your pet’s teeth at home. Doing this a couple of times a week can be remarkably effective. (See Angel's Story at the bottom of this page.) If this seems like a daunting task, watch the video below before you begin or call us for additional tips.

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Preventive Step 4: Avoid Inexpensive Dental Treatments

They are often ineffective and possibly harmful.

If you’ve heard about “non-anesthetic dental scalings” and are considering this option, please check out pet "anesthesia-free" video on this page. (Second from the top.) This treatment doesn’t accomplish the task and may harm your pet. For further information, see the American Veterinary Dental Association as well as the American Veterinary Medical Association comments on non-anesthetic pet dentals.

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How To Brush Your Pet’s Teeth

We could give you a detailed verbal description about how to do this, but, as we all know, a picture IS worth at least a 1,000 words, so we think watching this video is a better solution. If you still have questions after watching it, please just pick up the phone and call us! We'll be glad to help you. It's short and to the point.

The challenges of pet oral hygiene can seem a bit overwhelming, but the solution is easy. Regular check-ups. Critter Doctor may also recommend a special diet, or other oral home-care products to help maintain healthy teeth.

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Angel's Story

This is Angel. And this is the story of how a pet dental didn't just improve her teeth, it changed her physical appearance. Read what her owner, Debbie Gaudry, has to say about pet dentistry and the importance of brushing your pet's teeth.

kirkladn pet dental care case study

"I have a sweet 10-year-old Bichon Frisé named Angel. About one-and-a-half years ago her face started staining a brownish-red color. I hadn't changed anything in her diet and was puzzled as to what was going on. Her breath would "knock you over!" I tried all sorts of remedies but her facial staining worsened. I was periodically brushing her teeth hoping to cure her bad breath and help her tartar. I finally took her in to see Dr. Bernstein. Upon examining her teeth, she noticed a few loose ones and tartar. She really needed a dental cleaning! She ended up having 7 teeth pulled and her teeth sparkled!

I vowed to brush her teeth EVERY single day as I wanted to keep her teeth clean and healthy as possible. Lo and behold, the infected teeth were the problem and her facial staining was disappearing. She was back to her white fluffy self! I continued the daily brushing and over a year later she is as white as snow with almost perfect teeth, except for the few missing ones!

The moral of the story is that DAILY teeth brushing does work to keep their teeth healthy and keep them looking their furry best!"

Debbie Gaudry


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