Dog Teeth Cleaning & Pet Dentist Springfield, MO: Fighting Dental Disease & Promoting Oral Health
Our dog and cat dentist in Springfield, MO strive to increase awareness of dental disease in pets and the importance of teeth cleanings, which go a long way towards maintaining excellent oral hygiene and preventing the onset of dental disease. How important is your pet’s oral health? Very! In fact, it’s essential to a longer, healthier life, and will help your companion avoid painful conditions later. Dental disease is one of the most common conditions affecting dogs and cats today, yet it is completely preventable.
Our Pet Dental Care and Teeth Cleaning Protocols
At Spring Valley Veterinary Hospital, we need to evaluate your pet’s teeth and gums at least once a year. It's important to note that dogs and cats often do not show any outward sign of having dental disease. However, an oral exam can show whether an issue might be brewing. If we suspect dental disease, we will recommend further evaluation and possibly a teeth cleaning under anesthesia. This procedure involves:
- Assessing your pet’s overall health before administering anesthesia
- Examining their teeth one by one and checking the pockets of the gums under anesthesia
- Performing digital dental X-rays to check for dental disease (offered at our West location only)
- Scaling each tooth above and below the gum line to remove all traces of calculus
- Polishing the tooth surfaces smooth to slow plaque and tartar buildup in the future
- Charting all of our findings and creating a dental report card for your pet
What Causes Pet Dental Disease?
Naturally, your pet has to eat. But over time, food debris will stick to their teeth along the gum line, causing plaque and tartar to form. These substances will build up and eventually harden into calculus, which is impossible to remove via brushing. When this material gets under the gum line, it can cause painful swelling of the gums and damage the supporting tissues around the teeth.
The following are signs of advanced dental disease:
- Difficulty eating/dropping food
- Bad breath
- Heavy drooling
- Blood in saliva
- Swollen gums
- Yellow/brown residue on the teeth
Why Dogs and Cats Need At-Home Dental Care
While our hospitals offer the latest pet dental care procedures, we’re also advocates for at-home treatment. By educating and empowering people about the needs of their pets and how to meet those needs, dogs and cats are more likely to have healthy mouths and healthy, active bodies.
Teeth brushing is the most important and effective way to reduce the buildup of plaque and tartar and lengthen the time between professional teeth cleanings. If you have the opportunity to start early with your pet, they will quickly grow used to the routine. On the other hand, if your pet is starting late and shows resistance to teeth brushing, there are other options we can offer to supplement their dental treatment, including:
- A dental diet (for tartar control)
- Dental chews (for dogs only)
- Dental treats
- Oral care gel
- Oral wipes
- Water additives
- ...and more