Periodontal disease is present in an estimated 80% of dogs and 70% of cats by 2 years of age! It begins when bacteria in the mouth form a substance called plaque that sticks to the surface of the teeth. Subsequently, minerals in the saliva harden the plaque into dental calculus (tartar), which is firmly attached to the teeth. It includes gingivitis (inflammation or reddening of the gums) and periodontitis (loss of bone and soft tissue around the teeth). Studies have shown that periodontal disease is associated with microscopic changes in the heart, liver, and kidneys that could be detrimental to these organs. While brushing your pet's teeth can help reduce plaque accumulation and therefore slow down the progression of periodontal disease, it cannot remove tartar and it's not possible to reach every part of the tooth. For that reason, we recommend regular dental cleanings by a veterinarian to help remove plaque and tartar before it can cause permanent harm to your pet's mouth and internal organs. Initial signs include bad breath and gum inflammation, but unchecked, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss and damage to internal organs like the liver, kidney and heart. Routine dental cleanings are aimed at prevention - keeping your pet's body healthy, by keeping the mouth clean. Check out these before and after pictures of one of our patients!
If you feel your pet might be ready for a dental, call us to schedule a Courtesy Dental Exam! We're extending out our dental special until the end of August! Packages range from $220-260 and include everything but extractions and take home medications. The discount is automatic for any dental scheduled by 8/31/2015. 702-586-1300