We all understand the importance of getting regular dental checkups for ourselves, but many people overlook those same appointments for their pets. However, when you consider just how important teeth are to a pet, and their inability to communicate when they have minor discomfort, it is easy to recognize how important regular dental checks are. At Harbor Veterinary Clinic, we understand the issues that can affect your pet and offer the ability to correct dental issues in our office with many different dental care and oral surgery options.
Understanding Pet Dental Care and Oral Surgery
Our pets can put their teeth through some pretty extreme dental stresses. The constant chewing and tugging on their toys can easily dislodge or damage a tooth. Dental care offers a number of services to help ensure that your animals have teeth and gums that are healthy and helps to keep them that way. Some of the services that we provide within our dental care program include checkups and physical exams, cleanings, x-rays, fillings, scaling and polishing of the teeth.
Oral surgeries typically involve correcting some additional issues that are found during an exam or cleaning. Surgeries can include procedures to help fix damaged or broken teeth, help to heal the gums or correct other underlying dental issues.
When to Schedule an Exam
Many pet owners are very aware of changes in their pet’s behavior. If you notice significant changes in their behavior or appetite, it is time to schedule an appointment. When pain or irritation gets to the point that it affects an animal’s ability to eat, it is very important to be seen as soon as possible. This can help to correct the issue before it gets larger, and also allows your pet to begin healing and eating again more quickly. This can also allow our staff to intervene to ensure that your pet can stay healthy throughout the course of their treatment.
In addition to behavior changes, you should also schedule an appointment if you notice:
- Swelling in the gums or mouth – Swelling can often be an indication that there is an underlying infection. Infections that are located in the mouth can be very painful and impact your pet’s ability to eat, drink or even breathe. In addition, infections of the mouth can spread throughout the body.
- Bleeding in the gums or mouth – Bleeding can sometimes be an indication of infection or of an injury.
- Discolored or teeth coated in the film – Many animals can have buildup on their teeth that is the result of the foods that they eat. Over time, this buildup can harbor harmful bacteria on your pet’s teeth and also leads to infections in the gums. Ensuring that this tartar or plaque is removed from the teeth allows your pet to have a healthy mouth.
- Changes in chewing or drooling – These issues can often be a sign that your pet is in pain. There are a number of reasons that this could be happening, so allowing the staff at Harbor Veterinary Clinic to examine your animal is your best course of action.
- Bad breath – While we often may think that dogs or other animals just have bad breath, they should not. Bad breath can be an indication of an infection of the gums or teeth and should be corrected. Our staff has the knowledge to help effectively treat the underlying causes of bad pet breath.
Pet dental care is frequently overlooked by many pet owners. However, when your pet experiences an infection or pain in their mouths, it can quickly become a serious issue. Dental problems change your pet’s ability to eat and can lead to weight loss, and infections can easily spread throughout the body. Contact Harbor Veterinary Clinic in Ashtabula, OH today to schedule a dental exam for your pet today (440) 255-0770!