Care & Husbandry: What to Expect When Your Dog Needs Dental Care

In this comprehensive guide, the GeniusVets team sheds light on the importance of dental care for pets, offering insights into the signs of dental problems, the significance of examinations, and what to expect during veterinary visits.

Detecting Dental Issues

  • Conduct regular monthly examinations of your pet's teeth and mouth.
  • Bad breath could indicate gum disease, the most common ailment in small animals.
  • Bacteria accumulation at the gumline can lead to periodontal disease, causing bleeding and tooth loss.
  • Examine your pet's mouth for signs of pain, changes in chewing habits, or moderate to severe mouth odor.
  • Chewing on hard materials like bones can lead to tooth fractures and painful abscesses.

Veterinary Oral Examination

  • A veterinarian conducts a complete visual examination of the face, mouth, and each tooth.
  • A record chart is used to identify and document dental problems.
  • General anesthesia is essential for a proper tooth-by-tooth evaluation.
  • Periodontal probing measures gum pocket depths around each tooth.
  • X-rays are taken to visualize the inside of the tooth and the root below the gum line.
  • Veterinarians communicate findings and treatment plans based on visual and X-ray examinations.

Periodontal Disease and Treatment

  • Dogs and cats affected by periodontal disease may experience bleeding gums and increased probing depths.
  • Plaque removal, preventative care, and periodic checkups can help hinder further tooth loss.
  • Products endorsed by the Veterinary Oral Health Council aid in plaque and tartar prevention.

Advanced Dental Care

  • Veterinarians may pursue post-graduate dental training to better serve their patients.
  • Some veterinarians become certified dental specialists through examinations by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
  • Referrals to specialists may be made if advanced dental care is required.

With thorough examinations, X-rays, dental care, and daily plaque prevention, pets can maintain healthy teeth and avoid the pain associated with untreated dental issues. Pet owners are encouraged to be proactive in detecting signs of dental problems and seeking veterinary care to ensure their pets receive the necessary treatment and preventive measures.

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