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Dental Care Can Prolong Your Pet’s Life
If your cat has a diseased tooth, bacteria form under the gums can spread through the blood and, affect your cat or dog’s heart, kidney or liver. The health consequences can be serious if left untreated.
By taking advantage of the cleaning and extraction services that Affordable Animal Hospital of Southern California offers, you doing more than taking a significant step toward improving your pet’s day-to-day quality of life. There’s a good possibility you will also be extending its life.
Preparing for Cleaning
You could never expect your pet to sit still while the veterinarian scrapes and probes its teeth. It’s hard enough for humans who have an understanding of what’s happening to do this!
Before the cleaning begins, your pet will be put under general anesthesia. This will prevent it from feeling pain and make it much easier for the veterinarian to take their time and be as thorough as necessary in regard to both cleaning and examining the teeth.
Your pet will have a tube its throat to support breathing during the time that it is unconscious. This placement of the tube can also help prevent your pet from inhaling bacteria that may be released from under the gums and into the air.
What Does a Professional Cleaning Involve?
A thorough tooth cleaning for your cat or dog can include a number of steps:
- • Removing any tartar and plaque that is visible on the teeth
- • Looking under the gums for tartar and plaque and cleaning out what is found
- • Looking for signs of disease in your pet’s dental
- • Preventing future accumulations of bacteria by gently polishing teeth to remove scratches
- • Acquiring x-ray images that can be used to look for issues below the gum
- • Applying a sealer to your pet’s teeth
- • Removing or repairing any infected or fractured teeth that are discovered during the cleaning and examination process
- • Inspecting your pet’s mouth, lips and tongue.
Once the cleaning and exam is completed, a chart will be created that reflects what was found in the examination and that can serve as a guide to ongoing care for your pet’s mouth.
Though it may not be a common practice among pet owners, ongoing attention to dental hygiene is important for pets for all the same reasons that it is important for you. You can get the most out of your investment in professional teeth cleaning through consistent home care.
Depending on what your veterinarian finds during the examination, home care may be especially important.
Here are some steps you can take on a regular basis:
- • Brushing your pet’s teeth daily – Use a child’s toothbrush or a finger brush (your veterinarian can help you acquire one of these). Using pet toothpaste, which comes in flavors such as chicken and seafood, may increase your pet’s willingness to sit still for this.
- • Food and treats – Products are available that can help prevent the formation of plaque. Ask the staff at Southern California Affordable Animal Care Hospital for suggestions about such products.
- • Rinses and oral sprays – These can help you keep the population of harmful bacteria in your cat or dog’s mouth down.
- • Raw bones – Chewing on a raw bone, not a cooked one, can help to reduce accumulations of tartar and plaque. You don’t want your pet to swallow a large piece of bone, though, so keep your eye on it while it enjoys this treat.
Cats and dogs are carnivores, and their teeth are designed for different uses than our teeth. Teeth that are used for cutting, not for chewing or grinding food, have different, deeper root systems.
The roots of cat’s and dog’s teeth extend into the surrounding bone. Extracting such teeth is more difficult than extracting the tooth of a human.
Your pet will be under anesthesia during an extraction and the “socket” that remains in the spot where the tooth was removed will be surgically closed. This reduces pain and speeds the healing process.
Following a tooth extraction, your pet should be able to eat without difficulty. Cats and dogs don’t really chew their food, as you may have noticed, they “grab and gulp.” This does not cause the same pressure on the gums that chewing or grinding food does.