Keeping Pets’ Teeth Sparkling Clean
Our parents teach us good dental habits when we’re young, but our pets don’t always get that lesson. Many pet owners don’t realize how important oral hygiene is for their loved ones until they find out their pet has gum disease. Gum disease, if left untreated, can lead to diseases of the heart, liver, kidneys, and lungs. According to the American Veterinary Dental College, most pets will have some form of gum disease by age three! Here in North Charleston, our veterinarians will be happy to discuss your pet’s dental needs and work with you to create a dental health plan to keep their mouth clean and healthy.
Our Pet Dental Care Services
At Charleston Heights Veterinary Clinic, there’s much more to pet dental care than teeth-brushing. We perform a variety of services to improve and preserve your pet’s oral health, including:
- Routine oral exams
- Extractions (as needed)
- Dental prophylaxis (cleaning) above and below the gum line
- Root planing (smooths tooth root to remove residual bacteria)
- Dental treats and chews
- Teeth-brushing demonstrations
What to Expect
For their own safety and comfort, all patients must be anesthetized for their dental cleaning procedure. We recommend pre-anesthetic blood work for pets under 6 years, and we require it for pets 6 years and older. This helps us to ensure your pet is healthy enough to be safely anesthetized.
X-rays can be performed before procedures to help us see if your pet is experiencing any bone or tooth loss, or has a fragile jaw. Post-dental X-rays help us see if there are any remaining tooth roots following extractions.
Signs of Gum Disease in Pets
Gum disease is one of the most common conditions afflicting pets, but it can be prevented if you brush your pet’s teeth at home and schedule regular cleanings per your veterinarian’s recommendations. Signs to look out for include:
- Difficulty eating/chewing
- Dropping food out of mouth
- Drooling excessively
- Loose or broken teeth
- Bad breath
- Red, swollen gums
- Facial swelling
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Pawing at face/mouth
- Lack of appetite
Maintaining Your Pet’s Teeth at Home
Not all pets are created equal; some breeds are more susceptible to plaque buildup and tooth decay than others. However, we strongly recommend that all pet owners get into the habit of brushing their pet’s teeth every day. The best way to do this is to start them young. If you need to schedule an oral exam for your pet or need a tooth brushing demonstration, give us a call at 1-843-554-4361. We’re always happy to help!