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When it comes to protecting your pet’s oral health, dental X-rays are one of the most vital tools that our hospital has for making an accurate diagnosis. Two-thirds of feline and canine teeth are located under the gums and consequently are not visible to the naked eye. This is why dental X-rays are so important. They allow a quick and accurate assessment of your pet’s oral health. Without dental X-rays, it’s virtually impossible to find many of the oral problems that need attention. In fact, studies show that without dental X-rays, early-stage oral health problems are missed in three out of every four pets. Dental X-rays are essential for successful early detection and treatment for oral health conditions. That’s why our veterinary team recommends every pet receive X-rays during his or her annual dental exam.
Dental X-rays are critical for a full assessment of the teeth and surrounding soft tissues. X-rays are used to detect fractures or internal disease within the teeth as well as soft tissue problems such as periodontal disease, stomatitis, cysts, facial swellings, and tumours. Dental X-rays are also beneficial for determining the root cause for an oral health problem. For example, if your pet is pawing at his face, gulping or excessively salivating – but you can’t detect a clear cause for this behavior – determining the next step in treatment can be difficult without a dental X-ray. X-rays will help our veterinarians determine the cause for this disturbance, such as a foreign object that’s trapped between the teeth but is not visible to the naked eye.
Dental X-rays are also beneficial for younger pets who still have developing teeth. X-rays help to determine whether the teeth are abnormal, incorrectly positioned, missing or dead. For example, consider that your pet has abnormal facial swelling – but you are not sure why. A dental X-ray could help determine the cause for this swelling, such as a dead tooth or other periodontal problem that requires the tooth to be removed. Another possible cause for the swelling could be the presence of both the primary canine (baby) and secondary adult tooth. The dental X-ray will help our veterinarians determine which teeth need to be removed.
If your pet has never had dental X-rays, it is important to ask our veterinarian to schedule them in conjunction with your pet’s next oral health exam. Our veterinarian in Winnipeg recommends annual dental exams and cleanings for all pets. Depending on your pet’s specific health needs, however, your pet may need more frequent cleanings. Dental cleanings are an important opportunity to remove excessive plaque and tartar build up from along the gum line, reducing the risk for gum disease, bacterial infections and tooth loss.
Common symptoms of oral health problems in pets include excessive drooling and inflamed gums. If you notice these symptoms in your pet, contact our veterinarian in Winnipeg to schedule a diagnostic appointment and dental X-rays.