Frequently Asked Questions
about Pet Dental Care
Pets need dental care just like humans do -- but how much do you know about the nature of that care? Here are the answers to frequently asked questions on pet dental care from our veterinary team at Tchefuncte Animal Hospital in Madisonville, LA.
- What is periodontal disease? Periodontal disease (which affects 4 out of 5 pets by their third birthday), is an inflammatory gum disease caused by bacteria, which feed on tartar buildup. Periodontal disease can destroy the gum, bone and connective tissues that hold the teeth in their sockets, leading to tooth loss. The bacteria can even spread through the bloodstream to your pet's heart and other major organs.
- How often should I schedule dental care for my pet? Annual dental examinations and cleanings are routine for most healthy adult animals. Senior pets, specific breeds and pets with known dental issues may require more frequent attention.
- What does a dental examination or cleaning for pets consist of? Your Madisonville veterinarian at Tchefuncte Animal Hospital will inspect your pet's oral cavity while he/she is under general anesthesia for any signs of periodontal disease, tooth decay/damage or oral cancer. We may also take X-rays as needed to evaluate the inner structures of the teeth and bone. A professional tooth cleaning is commonly performed during the procedure.
- What signs of disease or injury should I be aware of? Pets with diseased or damaged teeth may avoid eating or even being touched around the face and head. Other potential trouble signs include bad breath, bleeding or pus from the gums, reddened gums and swelling in the gums or jaw.
- Why is oral cancer in pets such a serious concern? Oral cancer is not only a potentially deadly disease but also a fast-growing one. It can also be difficult for pet owners to detect until it has reached a serious stage of development, making early detection through regular dental exams a must.
- What are the benefits of professional teeth cleaning? Professional teeth cleaning can remove even the most stubborn deposits of tartar, including those hidden below the gum line. This denies bacteria of their food source, reducing the risk of periodontal disease and infections.
- What treatment methods we provide? If your pet is struggling with a dental or oral condition, we can advise you on the available treatment options and administer those treatments whenever your pet needs them. We can extract a painful or disease-ridden tooth, remove oral cancers surgically, prescribe antibiotics for infections, and much more.
- How can I keep my pet's mouth in good shape between dental appointments? We can educate you on and recommend between-visit best practices such as brushing your pet's teeth, feeding him tartar-control foods and giving him chew toys that scrape away plaque.
Contact Our Veterinarian in Madisonville to Learn More about Pet Dental Care
Now that you understand the dental threats your pet faces and how our animal hospital can help, put that knowledge to good use. Call 985-845-7484 to schedule a dental wellness exam!