Pet dental care is important for helping our animal friends live long, happy lives. Our doctors and staff at Albemarle Animal Clinic provide the full range of pet dental care services needed to protect your pets’ teeth and prevent gum disease. While we examine your pet’s teeth during normal wellness checks, please note that a dental procedure usually requires a separate appointment on another day.
Importance of Regular Pet Dental Care
You can do a visual inspection of your pet’s teeth every day while grooming them. It’s also important to watch your pet’s behavior for early warning signs of a potential problem with their teeth or gums.
Symptoms to watch for include:
- Bleeding gums
- Loss of regular appetite
- Difficulty chewing kibble or hard foods
- Pain symptoms while eating
- Bad breath
Our pets will often become irritable if they have a problem with their teeth. If you notice any major behavioral changes, it’s time to call us at Albemarle Animal Clinic and bring them in for an exam. Pets can suffer a lot of the same dental issues as their human owners, such as:
- Broken or cracked teeth
- Oral infection
- Periodontal (gum) disease
- Palate defects
- Malocclusion (misaligned “bite”)
- Broken jaw
Professional Teeth Cleaning
Professional teeth cleaning as part of your regular pet dental care can prevent a lot of oral problems from developing. As with oral surgery or tooth extractions, we will sedate your pet with an anesthetic for their teeth cleaning. A professional cleaning allows us to remove plaque and tartar that build up on your pet’s teeth. This prevents the buildup of cavities and other oral problems.
Any time your pet is going to be sedated for a cleaning or another dental procedure, we will ask that you withhold food from your pet starting at about 10 pm the night before. Your pet can have water through the night, but water should be withheld as well starting first thing in the morning. Procedures that require sedation usually take several hours, so we will have you drop off your pet in the morning and will let you know when you can pick them up.
At-Home Pet Dental Care
We recommend brushing your pet’s teeth at home at least three times a week. We can offer you a specialty brush for this at our in-house pharmacy.
Another great way to protect your pet’s teeth at home is by providing them with dental treats and chew toys. These items can improve your pet’s breath and will help to clean plaque off their teeth.
If your pet is having a dental problem of some sort or you want to schedule a checkup, give us a call at Albemarle Animal Clinic at 704-983-2164.