Improving the Health of Dogs and Cats with Professional Teeth Cleanings in Kittery, ME
Good oral hygiene is a very important part of our pet's overall health. Just like us, our pets can develop cavities, gingivitis, and periodontal disease. At Piscataqua Animal Hospital, we provide a comprehensive approach to maintaining your pet's oral care. We offer professional cleaning (including full mouth radiographs) to treat and prevent periodontal disease in cats and dogs. With routine care at home and regular checkups, your pet will be able to enjoy better oral and systemic health throughout their life.
Signs Your Pet is in Need of Dental Care
Dogs and cats should see their vet at least once a year for a dental checkup and, if needed, a teeth cleaning. When we perform an oral exam, we look for the following signs:
- Bad breath
- Excessive drooling
- Red, swollen gums
- Plaque and tartar buildup along the gum line
We will also want to know if your pet has any trouble eating. Are they dropping their food on the floor and eating one piece at a time? Are they chewing on one side? Do they seem reluctant to eat at all?
A good way to get a cursory glance at your pet’s teeth and gums is to gently flip their upper lip to check for redness, buildup, or any other unusual signs. If you have any concerns, please contact our hospital as soon as possible.
Why It’s Important to Prevent Periodontal Disease in Dogs and Cats
Periodontal disease affects pets similar to how it affects humans. Without dental care, plaque builds up along the gum line and hardens into tartar, which can secrete infectious bacteria into the mouth and below the gum line. With time, this bacteria can destroy gum tissue and the roots of the teeth, and even enter the bloodstream, where it can travel to your pet’s heart, liver, and kidneys. This results in a diminished quality of life for your companion, and the potential for greater illness.
Fortunately, periodontal disease can be prevented very effectively with daily treatment at home, and regular checkups and teeth cleanings here at our hospital in Kittery.
How We Perform Cat and Dog Teeth Cleaning Procedures
If we detect signs of buildup and infection in your pet’s mouth, we’ll likely recommend a teeth cleaning with our vet team. As with surgery, we place our patients under general anesthesia for teeth cleanings. This way, our team can provide the most thorough care, and your pet will remain comfortable and relaxed throughout the procedure. Before we administer anesthesia, we’ll need to do blood work to make sure your pet is in good health.
During their cleaning, we will:
- Conduct a detailed oral exam, checking for periodontal pockets, loose/broken teeth, abscesses, and other abnormalities
- Perform a complete dental cleaning, removing all traces of plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line
- Polish the tooth enamel to create a smooth, plaque-resistant surface
- Extract any loose or decayed/damaged teeth (only if absolutely needed, and with your approval) that are likely very painful for your pet
Consult with Us About Your Pet’s Dental Care Options
While brushing your pet’s teeth regularly is one of the best things you can do to protect them from periodontal disease, we know it isn’t always possible. If you need a brushing demonstration or would like to see what other at-home teeth cleaning options we recommend, give our team a call at (207) 439-2661 today.