Fresh breath and straight teeth… from your veterinarian?

Did you know? More than 80% of our pets will have some sort of dental disease before the time that they are three years old. But, even if your pet appears to have a healthy mouth, there is still a good chance that dental disease exists. Thomas F. Dock, Veterinary Journalist and Practice Manager, Noah’s Animal Hospitals, shares more:

Veterinary Dentists state that dental x-rays will find pathology in 28% of dogs and 42% of cats with mouths that appear normal during routine oral examination.

60% of the tooth lies below the gumline. Since our pets can’t talk to us to tell us where the pain is, these x-rays will help the veterinarian see where issues might be occurring.

Beyond periodontal disease, fractured teeth and mal-aligned teeth are common in dogs. Cats commonly have a condition called Feline Odontoclastic Resorptive Lesion that actually destroys tooth enamel.

Certain dog breeds are more prone to dental problems due to conformation characteristics, such as a shortened face or jaw. Working dogs can often experience tooth trauma during their routine work day.

Techniques that are common to human dentistry can now help pets with diseased, broken, or mal-aligned teeth. Previously, extraction of the tooth was the most common solution to the issue.

Braces can help to move teeth back into line, creating a better bite surface for the pet and make eating easier.

For pets with fractured teeth, root canals can help to save the tooth structure and help provide for a more normal mouth.

Crown restoration has been used by several veterinary dentists to help canine police officers return to their duties after trauma in the line of duty.

Even pets with severe dental disease have more options. Veterinary dentists can utilize oral surgery techniques to help save as many teeth as possible and bring the mouth back to a state of health.

Of course, routine at home dental care and regular veterinary check-ups are great weapons in the battle against dental disease. New products, such as barrier sealants, can make at home care much easier, on both the pet and the owner.

If you think your pet may need special dental work, talk with your veterinarian. Ask about the availability of digital dental x-rays in your area or referral to a veterinary dentist.

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