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Posted on 01-14-2015

As many of you may know or remember, February is National Pet Dental Health Month. At Lafayette Companion Animal Hospital, we feel dental health is extremely important to the overall health of your pet. So to support this important cause we are offering a 20% discount on all routine dental cleanings performed during the month of February.

Did you know that 85% of pets over 3 years of age have periodontal disease? Dental and periodontal (gum) disease is the most common clinical disease seen in our companion dogs and cats.  It causes bad breath, painful gums, loose teeth, behavior changes such as reduced appetite, and may even affect distant organs such as the liver, kidneys, and heart. 

So what should you expect from a professional veterinary dental cleaning?  Since dogs and cats won’t open up, say “Ahhhh”, and sit still while their teeth are cleaned, they do need to be anesthetized for a thorough job. Anesthesia helps in many ways, from keeping your pet immobilized to facilitate cleaning underneath the gumline (where 70% of the tooth resides), to allowing full mouth radiographs to be taken. While under anesthesia tartar is removed above and below the gum line.  Periodontal sockets are measured to assess periodontal disease.  The teeth are cleaned until they are smooth again.  Then the enamel is polished and fluoride is applied.  Professional notes are taken on a dental chart, noting any abnormalities on each of the dog’s 42 teeth or the cat’s 30 teeth.

Once your pet’s teeth are cleaned there are many ways you can maintain their oral health at home.  Brushing with a pet toothpaste (don’t use a human toothpaste!) is best performed at least once a day. There are also many appropriate dental chews (dentabone, greenies, rawhides) on the market which can play a role in tartar control.  There are also some pet diets specially formulated to remove tartar and some to treat gingivitis.  Dr. Brooke Kugler and the team at Lafayette Companion Animal Hospital can help you develop a customized home care plan for you and your pet.

Although February is National Pet Dental Health Month, dental care for your pet is important every day of every month.  Both home dental care and regular veterinary dental care are important to maintain a healthy mouth and identify oral problems early. 

Dental Health month has become a busy month at Lafayette Companion Animal Hospital! Please contact us soon to discuss our professional dental cleanings and to set up an appointment.

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