Your Pet Has Similar Dental Needs to Yours

Pet dentistry has become an important part of good veterinary care because unhealthy teeth and gums can cause toxic bacteria absorption into the blood. If these bacteria get a chance to establish in the lining of the heart or heart valves, a serious condition can result. Kidney damage and joint problems may also occur.

Every time you bring your pet in, we make a detailed inspection of the mouth for the presence of plaque on the teeth and inflamed gums at the margins of the teeth, as well as broken or missing teeth and bleeding. If left unhandled, your pet’s oral health could decline and lead to pain and discomfort. Older dogs and cats typically require more care than younger pets. Our hospital is set up with state-of-the-art dental x-ray equipment to examine your pet’s mouth without bothering them.

Fortunately, this is an easy problem to avoid with a new pet. We will do a dental care check on your first visit and show you products you can use to clean your pet’s teeth. If you start when they are young, they get used to it.

For older pets who have not had any dental care, we may have to step in and clean and repair their teeth and gums to restore their dental health. Some procedures may involve sedation and several visits.

What To Look For

You should have your pet checked by us at least yearly when you come in for a routine exam or vaccination booster. If you notice any of the following, bring your pet in immediately:

  • Bad breath
  • Broken or loose teeth
  • Discoloration
  • Lack of appetite
  • Heightened sensitivity
  • Abnormal drooling, or dropping food
  • Bleeding from the mouth

Cleaning Services

The cleaning services that Torrance Companion Animal Hospital provides can make a long-term difference in your pet’s health. Cleaning is about more than just removing accumulated plaque and tartar. It also enables the veterinarian to evaluate the condition of teeth and gums, and to identify problems that might not be visible to the naked eye.

Prior to Cleaning

You couldn’t expect your pet to sit still while its teeth are methodically cleaned and probed. It will first be put under general anesthesia. A tube will be placed in its throat to support breathing and to ensure that your pet does not inhale bacteria that have been released during cleaning.

What Happens During Cleaning?

While your cat is unconscious, the veterinarian will remove visible tartar and plaque as well as cleaning under the gums. Along the way, they will look for signs of disease or decay. Light polishing may be done to smooth tooth surfaces and prevent accumulation of bacteria, and a dental sealer may be applied. X-rays will be taken. If a tooth is found that needs to be extracted on an urgent basis, this will be performed. The mouth, tongue and lip will be inspected. Afterward, our veterinarian will make a dental chart to guide future care.

Ongoing Hygiene

To get the greatest benefit from the services we provide, you should implement a home care routine. This can include:

  • Daily brushing
  • Antibacterial rinses and oral sprays
  • Food and treats that prevent plaque formation.

Torrance Companion Animal Hospital can help you develop an oral/dental health plan for your pet to help keep them healthy.

Tooth Extraction

Removing the teeth of cats and dogs is more complicated than extracting human teeth due to the fact that the roots of your pet’s teeth go deep into surrounding bone. As with cleaning, your pet will be given anesthetic. The socket from which a tooth is will be surgically closed to reduce pain, which speeds the healing process.

Back at Home

Your pet should not have difficulty eating after a tooth extraction. You may have observed that cats and dogs don’t really “chew” their food, but scoop it up and swallow it. The discomfort that humans might experiencing chewing food is not a factor.