Vet Blog

How Teeth Cleanings for Dogs and Cats Protect Your Pet’s Health

September 27, 2021

When you think about your pet's health, taking care of their teeth and gums is probably not one of the first things that come to mind.

But just like humans, maintaining good oral hygiene is a crucial way to keep your pet healthy and help them avoid unnecessary pain and disease. At All Creatures Care Cottage in Costa Mesa, CA, we provide routine dental cleanings for dogs and cats to help protect their health and well-being.

The Problem With Plaque: the Link Between Tooth Problems and Your Pet's Overall Health

Unfortunately, pet oral health problems are widespread, with nearly all cats and dogs developing some form of dental health issue by three. Why does this happen? While most people brush and floss their teeth daily and visit the dentist twice per year, our pets do not typically get the same treatment. Whether they eat wet or dry food, plaque can build upon their teeth, hardening into tartar, and serve as a breeding ground for bacteria to multiply. When this happens, the acids from the bacteria begin to erode your pet's teeth and gums, causing pain and problems such as loose teeth, inflammation, bleeding in the gums, the formation of abscesses, and tooth loss. Additionally, the bacteria living in plaque can enter your pet's bloodstream through the oral cavity. When this happens, it causes systemic inflammation and can lead to several serious-and potentially deadly-diseases such as heart problems, liver disease, and kidney damage.

Signs of Dental Disease

Oral health problems can diminish your pet's overall quality of life if left untreated. Many animals are good at hiding pain but may exhibit other signs and symptoms of tooth or gum disease. These can include:

  • Swelling in their gums
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Loss of one or more teeth
  • Difficulty with chewing their food
  • Sudden swelling in the jaw area
  • Discolored teeth, particularly near the gums

Protecting Your Pet's Oral Health

At All Creatures Care Cottage, we provide a variety of oral health services to help keep your dog or cat's mouth healthy and pain-free, including non-anesthetic teeth cleanings or cleanings that are performed under anesthesia. Our veterinarian will examine your pet's teeth and gums to determine which treatments are the best for your pet. During a dental examination, the veterinarian will perform a visual inspection of your dog or cat's teeth and gums and talk with you about any symptoms they may be having. We may also recommend taking digital x-rays of your pet's mouth, which can provide important information about what is happening beneath the visible surface of your pet's teeth, jaw, and other oral structures. Some pets only need cleanings every few years, whereas others may need cleanings up to twice per year to keep their mouth healthy.

The All Creatures Care Cottage team provides friendly, compassionate care and loves welcoming new pets to our veterinary family! To schedule your pet's dental examination, call our Costa Mesa, CA office today at (949) 642-7151.