Good Pet Dental Care for Overall Health & Longevity

Quality Pet Dental Care at Spencer Animal Hospital

Periodontal disease is one of the most common health problems in veterinary medicine. It affects approximately 80% of dogs and 70% of cats by the age of three.

Why is good dental health so important?

Gum disease begins with plaque, which is a bacterial film that sticks to the surface of the teeth. Minerals in the saliva harden the plaque, turning it into dental calculus, also known as tartar. If not removed, the plaque and calculus spread under the gum line. Once there, bacteria start to damage the tissues surrounding the tooth, leading to inflammation of the gums and infection of the root canal.

In some advanced cases, bacteria has invaded the nasal cavity, and caused infection and weakening of the jaw bone resulting in fractures. Studies have also shown that the bacteria associated with oral disease can spread through the blood to other organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys.

What can be done to keep your pet’s mouth healthy?

You can have a positive impact on your pet’s dental health by taking an active role in caring for his or her teeth. Daily brushing can have a significant effect on managing the buildup of plaque and tartar. It is important, however, to only use toothpaste that is specially formulated for pets. Some of the ingredients in toothpaste made for humans may cause toxicities in animals.

There are many products on the market to help promote good veterinary dental hygiene. For dogs, we recommend feeding Hill’s Prescription Diet Canine and Hill’s Prescription Diet Feline for cats to help control the development of bacteria in the mouth.

Providing plenty of appropriate and healthy chew treats is also a good way of inhibiting the buildup of harmful plaque. We recommend CET Hextra Premium Chews and Greenies Veterinary Formula Dental Chews for dogs and cats alike. These chews contain chlorhexidine gluconate, an ingredient designed to reduce dental plaque and oral bacteria. You can purchase any of the products mentioned here, as well as a variety of dental gels and rinses, in our pharmacy.

Regular Dental Exams

Routine dental checkups at your veterinarian’s office are also crucial to maintaining good dental health. Your veterinarian will usually examine your pet’s teeth at each preventive examination. If evidence of excessive tartar buildup or periodontal disease is found, your veterinarian may suggest digital dental X-rays to determine the extent of the disease progression. Once diagnosed, a thorough dental cleaning can be performed while your pet is under anesthesia.

For more information on keeping your canine companion’s mouth healthy, read the American Veterinary Dental College article Home Care for Dogs.

To learn more about how to keep your favorite feline’s mouth healthy, read the American Veterinary Dental College article Home Care for Cats.

Dr. Mangum and his staff have been our pets’ choice clinic since 1971. Never has there been a more knowledgeable, caring, and friendly team with such unprecedented customer service. Forty one years of great service to us and all of our pets throughout the years!
– Barbara Groh

We have been clients of Spencer Animal Hospital for over 35 years. I know I have always been given excellent care whether it has been routine health care or for an emergency. I appreciate the kindness given to us and our animals and the honest information given when sometimes it is not what we wanted to hear.
–Sue Blansett

Dr. Mangum, Dr. Borovik and the staff of Spencer Animal Hospital have become an extension of our family by caring for our beloved pets. The doctors continue to keep abreast of changes in veterinary medicine, and have also worked with specialists in the care of our pets. We know that when we take our pet to Dr. Mangum and Dr. Borovik, be it for their yearly check-up or if they are ill, we can be confident they are receiving the best care available.
– The Gregory’s