Dental disease is not just a human concern. Animals are also at risk for developing cavities, periodontal disease, and other chronic conditions affecting their oral and overall health. Part of being a responsible pet parent means keeping up with your pet’s dental care. Annual wellness visits to the veterinarian that include an examination of your pet’s teeth and gums can help keep your pet’s mouth healthy. City by the Sea Veterinary Hospital practices veterinary dentistry in Asbury Park, NJ. It’s all part of our approach to offering comprehensive veterinary health care for pets of all breeds, ages, and sizes. If you have a new kitten or puppy at home, we encourage you to contact us and schedule an appointment!
If left untreated, the dental disease often progresses to more life-threatening infections that affect other organs, including your pet’s heart, liver, and kidneys. Are you wondering what causes dental disease? Like humans, pets develop dental disease primarily because of bacteria that infiltrate the gum line. When food particles get stuck between their teeth, bacteria forms and create hard deposits of calculus. Other factors that put pets at risk for dental disease include genetics and everyday wear-and-tear on their teeth. It’s estimated that as many as 85% of pets will form periodontal (gum) disease by the age of three. The good news is dental disease prevention is easy and begins at home!
Pets are not always able to communicate they’re in pain. Many times, they will just tolerate dental pain, so you may not even be aware they have a problem. If your cat or dog has bad breath, this is a huge red flag that something’s not right. Bad breath is often an indicator of periodontal disease below your pet’s gum line. Not only does periodontal disease cause your pet pain, but it may begin to affect their appetite and eating habits over time as well. This can lead to weight loss and malnutrition, in addition to the more severe health risks already mentioned. If you notice your pet refusing to eat or eating less, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Any signs of bleeding or swelling, broken or loose teeth, or abnormal drooling should also be your sign to bring your pet into our office for an examination.
Prevention starts at home! Many pets are sensitive about their mouths. As young kitties and pups, we as pet owners should work on training our pets to tolerate manipulation of their mouths to look under the tongue, evaluate their gums and look at all the teeth including the way back!
Being a pet parent is a privilege and a responsibility. Your pet can’t brush their own teeth or schedule dental visits. They’re reliant on you to help prevent dental disease. Brushing your pet’s teeth at least three times per week with a special pet toothpaste will help reduce the amount of plaque and bacteria around their gum line. Many dogs also benefit from dental chews or pet mouthwashes. You should also inspect their gums, teeth, and tongue regularly for signs of decay or infection. These inspections should begin early, so your pet is more tolerant of them later in life. Finally, it’s imperative you take your pet to the vet for professional cleanings and exams. The frequency of cleanings will vary by pet breed and size. Some cats and small breeds of dogs may require cleanings twice a year, while larger breeds of dogs may only require cleanings every two years. Talk to us to determine the appropriate dental care for your pet!
Our pet dental services in Asbury Park, NJ include exams, cleanings, and dental radiography (X-rays). Dental radiography allows us to examine your pet’s teeth, as well as their roots, connective tissues, and bones. Thanks to this state-of-the-art technology, we’re able to identify cavities, abscesses, tumors, bone loss, fractures, and other dental issues that may not be visible to the naked eye. Once we identify a dental issue, we can then develop a plan to fix it. Depending on the problem, our office also provides surgery and anesthesia services. Our staff would also be happy to make recommendations about the best brands of pet food and treats to buy that promote healthy teeth and gums for life.
Sometimes baby teeth, especially in small, brachycephalic breeds like Shih-Tzus, baby teeth (deciduous teeth) do not appropriately fall out when adult teeth fully erupt. These teeth predispose pets to dental issues including infections and malocclusions down the road. We recommend removing these teeth if they have not yet fallen out by 6 months of age.
Don’t let the cat and dog dental costs deter you from getting your furry friend the care they deserve. If you’re looking for low-cost dental for dogs in Asbury Park, NJ, your search ends at City by the Sea Veterinary Hospital. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment at your convenience!