Dental care is important for our pets. Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is as important to them as it is to us. Regular care of teeth and gums can dramatically extend your pet’s life. We know that bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream and end up causing infection and inflammation to a number of organs including the heart, liver and kidneys. How do you know if your pet has dental disease or too much bacteria in his/her mouth? Here are a few signs:
- Bad breath
- Yellow or brown tartar build up
- Discolored or loose teeth
- Red, inflamed gums
- Decreased appetite or pain while eating
- Diminished interest in chew toys or kibble food
- Swollen mouth or gums
- Pawing at mouth
At Heart of Brooklyn Veterinary Hospital, we understand that healthy teeth and gums lead to happy, healthy pets. We aim to provide the most comprehensive oral health care in Brooklyn. During your pet’s exam we will discuss his/her oral health and make recommendations for keeping their teeth and gums healthy. Recommendations may range from daily brushing at home to a Comprehensive Oral Health Assessment and Treatment (COHAT) under general anesthesia.
During a COHAT we will clean, scale, and polish your pet’s teeth to remove any plaque and tartar that has collected. We will also obtain full mouth dental radiographs in order to evaluate the 70% of the tooth that is underneath the gum line. If extractions are necessary they will be performed by the doctor at that time. Your pet will be monitored continuously throughout the procedure. They will go home later in the day.
Brushing teeth is an important step in preventing plaque build up. We encourage you to start this early in your pet’s life. When brushing your pet’s teeth you should use a specially formulated enzymatic toothpaste which is safe for them to swallow. The VOHC website is a good resource to recognize meet pre-set standards of plaque and calculus (tartar) retardation in dogs and cats.