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Frequently Asked Pet Dental Questions From Our Overland Park Vet Center
What do pet owners need to know about keeping their pets' mouths healthy? Here are some frequently asked questions on pet dental care from Nall Hills Animal Hospital in Overland Park.
- What kinds of dental problems do pets develop? Humans and pets share many similar dental challenges. These may include oral cancer, cracked or broken teeth, dental infections, injuries to the mouth and the most common threat of all, periodontal disease.
- What is periodontal disease? Periodontal disease in an inflammation of the tissues that surround the teeth. It occurs when bacteria is attracted to tartar, a hardened form of dental plaque. The body's inflammatory reaction to these bacteria can result in swollen or bleeding gums, jawbone abscesses and tooth loss.
- What are the warning signs of dental problems? You may notice that your pet has foul breath, difficulty eating, discolored buildup on the teeth or signs of obvious pain. Oral cancer may appear as lumps or spots, but by the time it becomes visible to a non-expert it may already be in an advanced stage.
- How often should my pet receive a dental exam? Most healthy adult pets should receive a dental exam once a year. Senior pets, pets with existing dental issues and certain breeds vulnerable to dental problems may require more frequent exams.
- What does a dental exam at your vet clinic include? Our vet clinic inspects the teeth, gums and oral cavity for any signs of disease or damage. X-rays can identify abscesses, infections, and breakage invisible to the naked eye. Your veterinarian can also catch oral cancer at an early stage during an exam.
- How are dental cleanings administered? We administer careful measures of general anesthesia, then use specialized tools to scrape away stubborn tartar both above the gum line and below it. We follow the cleaning with polishing, smoothing the tooth surfaces so plaque has more trouble sticking to them.
- Why does my veterinarian use anesthesia for cleanings? While some practices advertise anesthesia-free procedures, these procedures cannot offer the depth and thoroughness of cleaning necessary for best results. Anesthesia keeps your pet calm and still, allowing us to work carefully without either the veterinarian or the patient getting hurt.
- What forms of dental treatment can your dental clinic provide? We can control infections with antibiotics, prescribe medications to relieve pain, extract a diseased tooth that threatens the health of other structures, remove cancerous tumors and more.
- What home dental care practices can I adopt? Our Overland Park veterinarian can show you how to brush your pet's teeth, which can significantly reduce tartar buildup between exams. We may also recommend specific foods, treats or chew toys that help scrape away plaque.
Our Vet Center Has the Answers to Better Dental Health
Call (913) 341-8836 to schedule dental care for your beloved pet. Our vet center has the answers for ensuring a healthier mouth!