What is dental disease?
Dental disease is one of the most common health problems in our pet dogs. Signs of periodontal disease may include bad breath, red or swollen gums, changes in chewing habits, and decreased appetite. Most of the time, however, periodontal disease is well established before you start to see any obvious signs in your dog.
What types of canine dental care services are offered at your clinic?
At Barriefield Animal Hospital, we offer complete oral health assessment and treatment including extraction of painful or diseased teeth when necessary. Digital dental radiographs allow us to assess the health of each tooth above and below the gum line, and to catch and treat problems before they cause discomfort. All teeth are scaled not only to remove the obvious tartar on the crowns but also below the gum line and between the teeth. The teeth are then polished to smooth the enamel and slow the deposition of tartar. We recommend regular professional dental assessment and scaling/polishing in order to prevent periodontal disease and its consequences.
What can I do at home?
There are things you can do at home to prevent or slow the development of dental issues in your pets, and the early stages of gingivitis may be reversible with proper intervention. It is therefore very important that you talk to your veterinarian about dental care and disease prevention and have your dog’s teeth checked every year as part of their annual exam.
Tooth brushing is by far the most effective method of dental home care and should be performed every night, as part of your daily routine. Hard bones or chews are never recommended, as they frequently lead to painful dental fractures. Please ask us about other tips for maintaining your dog’s healthy smile.
Why is oral and dental health important?
Diseased teeth are both painful and a source of bacterial infection that may spread to other parts of your dog’s body.