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Regular dental exams and teeth cleanings are two important parts of pet wellness care. Just like humans, dogs and cats are susceptible to tartar and plaque buildup, which can lead to oral health problems like periodontal disease and gingivitis. Without prompt care, periodontal disease and gingivitis can be extremely painful for pets and make it difficult for them to eat food or even play a game of fetch. Regular dental checkups are the best way to reduce the risk for these serious problems and support your pet’s oral health.
Our veterinary care team recommends an annual dental exam and teeth cleaning for all pets. During this exam, our team will scrape away plaque and tartar deposits from your pet’s gum line. We will also perform a diagnostic physical exam to assess the health of your pet’s gums and teeth. Finally, since the warning signs of periodontal disease are not visible to the naked eye, our veterinary dentist may also take X-rays to better detect a potential problem before your pet’s oral health is adversely affected. We also use a special red light to indicate where tartar is present on your pet’s teeth.
Prior to a teeth cleaning, our veterinarians in Winnipeg recommend diagnostic blood work. Since your pet will be undergoing anesthesia for the cleaning, it is important to conduct diagnostic blood work in advance. This helps our veterinary team identify potential health problems that could interfere with the safe administration of anesthesia. While this diagnostic blood work is not a requirement, we strongly recommend it. Your pet’s safety, health and comfort are our top priorities!
Left unchecked, periodontal disease does more than just hurt your pet’s oral health – it also increases the risk for internal organ damage, too. Plaque deposits create pockets of space within the gum line, which are susceptible to bacterial infection. These bacteria can enter the blood stream and travel to internal organs, including the heart, leading to serious health complications. Regular dental exams and teeth cleanings help prevent advanced periodontal disease and reduce the risk for these health complications.
Common symptoms of periodontal disease include swollen gums, the loss of bone and soft tissue around the teeth, bleeding gums, and unexpected tooth loss. If our vet diagnoses your pet with dental disease, switching pet foods may also help make a difference. We recommend Hill’s Prescription Diet, which is a specialized diet available through our veterinary practice. This nutritionally balanced diet supports your pet’s oral health.
In addition to routine dental exams and cleanings, our veterinarians in Winnipeg also offer dental surgery as part of our pet dental care services. For more information on dental surgery, please click here.
If your pet has not had a dental cleaning within the last year, or you suspect that your pet may have warning signs of periodontal disease, contact our animal hospital today to schedule your pet’s dental care check-up! Call 204-269-4451.