Dr. Brad Walsh of Village Vet Animal Clinic in Broken Arrow Answers Your Questions About Pet Dental Health Care
Bacteria in the mouth, which is where plaque and tartar come from, emit gases and chemical compounds that make a bad odor.
My dog has dirty teeth. I do not want my pet to undergo general anesthesia. Brushing does not seem to help and his gums are bleeding. Is there anything else I can do?
There are a variety of things that can help such as diets, chews, and mouth rinses. These do not replace a dental scaling. There are some dogs that we can do a light sedation and do a scaling and polishing.
Can I scale my pet’s teeth at home?
Most dogs will not tolerate it, but some will. It is difficult even with a cooperative dog to do a full scaling.
How often should I have my pet’s teeth cleaned?
It varies with the pet, but many would benefit from at least once a year.
Why do you use anesthesia to clean my pet’s teeth?
Mainly for the comfort of the pet, but also so we can completely clean and examine the teeth properly.
What is the risk of anesthesia?
Anesthesia always carries some risk, but it is lower now than at any point in history. Additionally, most cleaning procedures are short and we use anesthetic that, in most cases the pet can recover from quickly.
Is my pet too old for anesthesia to clean my pet’s teeth?
I have seldom encountered age as a limitation for getting a teeth cleaning. More often, older animals will benefit from it.
Why must my pet’s teeth be pulled?
The teeth are infected or have lost or are losing roots.
Why does my pet’s teeth drool?
There may be gingivitis (“inflammation of the gum tissue”) or an infected or loose tooth.