Careful attention to oral health is important for the early detection of tooth and gum diseases. Good oral hygiene for your pet starts with a comprehensive dental exam, from a qualified veterinarian. Regular dental exams are crucial to healthy teeth and gums, and unresolved dental problems can lead to other health issues. Bring your pet in for an annual checkup and stay on top of this disease.

What are some common pet dental problems? 

The most common oral disease in pets is periodontal disease. Residue from plaque and tartar gets trapped between the teeth and below the gum line creating a breeding place for bacteria to form and grow. When bacteria spreads, it can cause an infection in other areas of the body including the heart valves or in the kidneys. Other common problems include chipped teeth, dental abscesses and oral masses. 

What types of things will a veterinarian be able to screen for?

Some oral health problems can be painful and pets do not always demonstrate oral pain in ways that are obvious to us. During your pet’s appointment, the veterinarian will ask about any behaviors that might raise concerns about oral health.  A complete examination of the mouth will help to identify problems that might include:  

  • Tooth decay,
  • Diseases around the gum line
  • Plaque
  • Bad breath
  • Broken or loose teeth
  • Swelling in or around the mouth and/or gums
  • Bleeding from the mouth
  • Abnormal or excessive drooling, or chewing
  • Missing teeth or extra teeth

Your veterinarian may recommend radiographs (X-rays) to further evaluate the state of your pet’s dental health, as many diseases start below the gumline.  Radiographs, if recommended, should be performed under general anesthesia at the time of your pet’s dental procedure. 

What happens if the veterinarian identifies a problem during my pet’s oral exam?

Any concerns that the veterinarian has during your pet’s oral exam will be discussed during your visit.  We will explore options and provide you with cost estimates for any diagnostic tests or treatments that are recommended.  

How can Gateway Pet Hospital help?

At Gateway Pet Hospital, we can help your pet maintain healthy teeth and gums by addressing small problems before they become big problems.  We pay specific attention to your pet’s dental health right from when he/she is a little puppy or kitten.  We stress the importance of brushing and preventative care, and safe dental toys and treats.    

Just like humans, pets should receive regular dental cleanings that include scaling and polishing above and below the gum line. This can only be performed safely under general anesthesia in pets.  We use modern dental and anesthetic equipment to perform dental procedures including charting, radiographing and cleaning teeth as well as tooth extractions and soft tissue surgery in the mouth. We perform regular follow up exams, to ensure your pet’s teeth and gums are healing properly.

For more complex dental procedures we can offer referral to a Board Certified Veterinary Dental Specialist so your pet can receive the best care available!

What can you do at home?

Dental home care is a crucial element in the prevention of dental disease.  Dr. Fraser Hale, a Board-Certified Veterinary Dental Specialist, offers this client information sheet outlining his recommendations for dental home care.  

There are many products available that claim to clean your pet’s teeth.  Look for the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) Seal of Acceptance on the package to be assured that the product meets pre-set standards of plaque and tartar reduction in dogs and cats.  Click on the image below for a complete list of VOHC accepted products. Click Here.

Be aware as some available products can do more harm than good!  Always follow the “Knee Cap Rule” to determine if a chew toy is too hard for your dog to chew on. Click Here.

Contact Gateway Pet Hospital In Kitchener, ON For Your Pet’s Dental Care Today!

If your pet is in need of dental care, you can call Gateway Pet Hospital at (519) 653-1003 and schedule an appointment for your pet. Any time you want to come and bring your pet in for a tour of our facility, we are happy to have you. Get give us a call and we will set it up.