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Did You Know?
Dental care of dogs and cats is one of the most commonly overlooked areas of pet health care. In fact, the American Veterinary Dental Society reports that 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of oral disease by age three.
At the Madera Veterinary Center, we would like to eliminate infection and oral pain in your beloved pets. Oral infections have been shown to affect multiple organ systems, including the heart, liver, and kidneys. Animals suffering from the internal effects of these infections will not live as happily or as long as they should. We pride ourselves in the level of dental care that we can provide our patients, if effort to keep them happier and healthier.
Our services range from routine dental cleanings to more advanced dental procedures. The use of digital dental x-rays is extremely important and is utilized in every dental procedure. We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have about dental care for your pet.
Dental care is an important factor of your pet’s overall health. This disease is a progressive process with several noticeable stages. Initially, plaque (tartar) begins as a build up of a thin film of food particles and bacteria along the gum line. Continued plaque build up will lead to calculus (hardened plaque) formation which then can develop below the gum line causing “pockets” to form. Pockets allow more bacteria and plaque to gather and speed the worsening dental disease. These processes irritate the gums causing inflammation known as gingivitis. Gingivitis can further progress to end-stage periodontal disease including bone destruction, loss of tooth support and tooth loss. There are many opportunities to stop this progression before you reach irreversible periodontal disease, such as professional dental cleaning and various types of home care.
Age and Health Status: Periodontal disease more commonly affects older animals and those with severe systemic disease.
Diet and Chewing Behavior: Studies show that hard kibbles are slightly better than moist/canned foods at keeping plaque from accumulating on the teeth. Dogs that chew on various toys and treats may remove some of the plaque build-up. Salivating while chewing does aid in “washing” the oral cavity and helps reduce bacterial load.
Breed, Genetics, and Tooth Alignment: Small breed and brachycephalic dogs are at greater risk of periodontal disease because their teeth are often crowded together. This results in an increased accumulation of plaque because the normal cleansing mechanisms are hindered.
Grooming Habits: Hair accumulation and impaction around the tooth and in the gingival sulcus can hasten the development of plaque.
Home Care: Regular brushing of your dog’s teeth can greatly reduce the accumulation of plaque and development of calculus, thus reducing the risk of periodontal disease.
Mouth Environment: Dogs that open-mouth breathe tend to have a more tenacious plaque due to the dehydration of the oral cavity. In general, the more acidic the saliva the more rapid the build-up of plaque. The number and type of bacteria in the mouth influence the progression of periodontal disease.