Did you know that periodontal disease is the number one problem in dogs and cats. Studies show that by 2-3 years of age that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some level of periodontal disease. That’s 8 out of 10 dogs, and 7 out of 10 cats that have an oral infection or some other disease process going on in their mouth. And the sad part is dogs and cats are good at hiding mouth pain and often go through silent suffering.

Periodontal disease / infection can lead to a systemic (whole body) infection which has been linked to heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, and respiratory disease in dogs and cats. In people, in addition to the above, it has also been linked to rheumatoid arthritis, cognitive impairment, obesity, pneumonia and metabolic syndrome, and the list keeps growing. A recent publication in the Journal of Science Advances suggests a link between periodontal disease and Alzheimer’s disease, as bacteria involved in gum disease were found in Alzheimer’s patients cerebral spinal fluid.

Oral Exams

Oral exams help detect disease and guide the best treatments. During an office exam we can help determine problems such as tartar and gingivitis. But a thorough oral exam to detect deeper problems and screen for oral tumors can only be done with general anesthesia. What a groomer calls a dental is only a partial scraping of tartar. What we do is an oral exploratory and treatment. We remove tartar not only from the surface of the visible teeth but under the gumline. We check for pockets (bone loss) around the teeth and other pathology such as oral tumors that may be hidden.

Home Tooth and Gum Care

Home Tooth and Gum Care – Must be done daily to be effective, but few people brush their pet’s teeth. There are several options to help keep your fury friends teeth clean and we show you how.

Tartar and Gingivitis

Professional cleaning and polishing are recommended when tartar is visible on the teeth or there is inflammation of the gum tissue (gingivitis). When your pet has gingivitis there is inflammation and infection. Bacteria from the mouth can gain access to the blood stream, so by keeping your pet’s mouth healthy we are protecting their entire body.

Annual Cleanings

A common question we get is “my dog / cat had a professional dental cleaning just last year and you are telling me they need one this year?YES! If there is visible tartar on the teeth and/or the gums are inflamed your pet needs a professional dental cleaning now. Our goal is to keep your pet healthy so you have many quality years with them.

How often does your pet need a dental cleaning?

Well that depends on your pet. I brush my teeth at least twice daily and floss, and yet my dentist finds plenty to clean at my twice-yearly appointment. Some dogs and cats may do fine with once a year cleaning, while other pets require more frequent cleaning. My dentist has a form for new patients and the first question she asks is “Do you want to keep your original teeth?” So now we ask you “Do you want to keep your furry friend’s mouth as healthy as possible?” Then when they have tartar and/or gingivitis, a professional dental cleaning is needed now.

What is a Professional Dental Cleaning?

It is a procedure done under light anesthesia where your pet’s whole mouth is examined for any pathology from periodontal infection, tartar buildup, gum inflammation and oral cancer. (Note: Don’t let anyone kid you, a groomer is not performing a dental cleaning. They are just scraping off a portion of the tartar buildup).

Why having a professional dental cleaning done at the first sign of tartar and / or gingivitis is necessary

I want you to think of car maintenance. Regular oil and air filter changes as well as other scheduled maintenance helps prevent more costly repairs in the future. Once there is bone loss around a tooth the damage is irreversible, so let’s do our best to prevent that from happening.

Digital Dental Radiographs (X-Rays)

This helps us find hidden pathology that may be overlooked. By being able to see the roots of the teeth and surrounding bone we can detect things like tooth root abscesses, resorptive lesions, cysts, and the list goes on.

Advanced Dentistry

We offer several advanced dental procedures and treatments to help bring quality back to your pet’s life. Most Veterinarians have minimal training in dentistry when they graduate from Veterinary school nor do they seek out continuing education opportunities on the subject. Being able to recognize oral pathology and offer proper treatment is important and should not be delayed.

Feline gingivostomatitis

Gingivostomatitisa painful inflammatory condition which affects the gums and oral mucous membranes. Some cats respond to good dental hygiene and medical treatment, but the majority of cats require extracting of most or all of the teeth to stop and reverse the inflammatory process. Our goal is to resolve the oral inflammation and chronic pain so your cat can return to enjoying life. The majority of owners’ report that after this procedure their cat acts like a kitten again, indicating their pet had been in pain for quite some time.

Oral Resorptive Lesions

We see this condition mostly in cats, but it also occurs in dogs. It is a painful disease where the tooth root(s) and / or crown breaks down. Once again cats are very good at hiding pain (silent suffering) and this may go unrecognized. The cause is unknown but extraction or partial extraction of the affected teeth is the treatment to relieve your pet’s pain.

Chronic ulcerative periodontal syndrome (CUPS)

This s a painful inflammatory condition affecting dogs where the gums and oral mucous membranes are severely inflamed. Dogs may exhibit drooling and have a foul odor to their breath. Good oral hygiene and medications help some patients, but others require extraction of the affected teeth.

Root Canal Therapy

When a tooth has died or suffered irreversible pulp damage root canal therapy is an option to preserve the tooth structure and function.

Crown Reduction and Vital Pulpotomy

If a tooth or teeth are striking the upper or lower jaw, the crown can be shortened and a vital pulpotomy performed.

Cancer (Neoplasia)

Any abnormal bumps/masses or discoloration in your pets mouth should be checked out as soon as possible. When we are performing a dental cleaning on your pet, a thorough oral exam in done to help detect oral tumors as soon as possible.

Broken / Fractured Teeth

Any tooth that is broken, discolored or appears abnormal is often a source of pain, inflammation and infection and should be examined as soon as possible.

Dr. Cerny has received advanced training in veterinary dentistry and oral surgery and is a member of the Veterinary Dentistry Academy. He has over 23 years of experience in the field of veterinary dentistry. Keeping your pet’s mouth healthy so they can live more healthy and happy lives is his passion.