Did you know dental health actually effects overall health? Regular exams and dental cleanings are recommended to keep your pet’s mouth, as well as other vital bodily organs, healthy. At Skinner Animal Clinic, we value annual dental exams as a step towards proactive wellness. The health of your pet’s teeth and gums will be assessed, while looking for signs of pain, inflammation, or abnormal masses.

Your pet is unable to communicate the pain and discomfort of dental disease. Common symptoms include: bad breath, excessive drooling, difficulty chewing, plaque on the teeth or near the gum line, decreased appetite, teeth chattering, weight loss, sneezing and nasal discharge, and irritability.

Dental Cleanings

Dental cleanings do far more than keep your pet’s teeth white and sparkling! Keeping up with annual dental cleanings prevents painful oral conditions such as periodontal disease, gingivitis, and bacterial infections. Your pet cannot tell you if he’s feeling any discomfort, however, bad breath, discolored gum lines, and missing teeth are signs of poor dental health. If your pet has poor dental health, bacteria may potentially spread to vital bodily systems, leading to serious conditions such as heart and kidney failure, liver damage, and a weak immune system.

All dental cleanings must be performed under general anesthesia. This is for your pet’s comfort and safety! To ensure your pet can handle the effects of anesthesia, we will run pre-surgical bloodwork. We understand that any procedure can be stressful. At Skinner Animal Clinic, our highly-trained and experienced team will closely monitor your pet’s vitals from beginning to end.

Dental Radiography

Did you know more than half of your pet’s teeth are below the gum line? That is why dental radiography is so vital to diagnosing complete dental health. Dental radiographs are able to identify painful, hidden oral conditions such as foreign objects lodged in the gums, jaw and tooth fractures, abnormal roots, tumors, stomatitis, cysts, and abnormal, mal-positioned, missing, or dead teeth.

At-Home Dental Care

We strongly encourage at-home dental care to keep your pet’s oral cavity healthy and hygienic between scheduled visits and cleanings. At-home dental care greatly reduces oral bacteria and plaque build-up that may lead to more threatening health conditions. Aim to brush your pet’s teeth every 1-2 days, especially after a meal.

We recommend starting at-home dental care at a young age. The sooner you begin brushing your pet’s teeth, the less resistant your pet will be. It is not uncommon for pets to be too resistant. If your pet resists at-home brushing, consider dental treats and toys that remove plaque build-up and massage the gums while your pet chews!

We are happy to discuss at-home dental care options, as well as recommended products, from pet toothpastes and toothbrushes to treats and toys.