Fullerton Animal Hospital – Your Choice for Pet Dentistry in Baltimore
As part of our full suite of veterinary services, our Baltimore veterinarians at Fullerton Animal Hospital provide the pet dentistry services your animal companion needs for a healthy, happy life. Often overlooked, pet dentistry is an essential part of regular veterinary care. Oral hygiene is important too, as regular tooth and gum care reduces illness in pets and decreases the chances for emergency visits to our animal hospital.
Understanding Your Pet’s Dental Health
Plaque buildup and tartar can have a detrimental effect on your pet’s overall health. Plaque is a pale yellow biofilm that develops naturally on teeth. The biofilm of plaque is made of bacteria that adhere to the smooth surface of teeth.
When it first develops, plaque is soft enough to scrape off with your fingernail but it begins to harden after 48 hours. Plaque hardens into dental tartar, also known as calculus, in about ten days. Tartar is very hard and difficult to remove. Accumulating tartar can push against gums and cause pockets there, which leads to deteriorating gums and loose teeth. Left untreated, a pet with a high degree of dental plaque and tartar could require emergency pet care, such as an emergency root canal or treatment for oral lesions.
Oral lesions pose a special problem for pet. These open sores inside your dog or cat’s mouth increase your pet’s risk for bacteremia, a medical condition where the bacteria in your pet’s mouth enters the bloodstream. Bacteremia can lead to kidney shutdown, joint problems, and bacterial growth in the heart and heart valves.
Gingivitis is another significant pet dental problem. This condition is a mild form of gum disease, otherwise known as periodontal disease. Gingivitis causes redness, irritation, and swelling of the gums.
To reduce the risk for bacteremia or gingivitis, we suggest you look inside your pet’s mouth regularly to check for oral lesions or inflamed gums. We also recommend that you schedule a pet dentistry exam at our animal hospital on a yearly or bi-yearly basis.
Our Dental Pet Care Program Available for Baltimore, Nottingham, Parkville and Carney
In addition to a routine checkup, we offer a pet dentistry program for Baltimore, Nottingham, Parkville and Carney communities where we check your pet’s teeth and gums for signs of plaque, tartar, oral lesions, gingivitis and other dental problems. We provide these services because we know that, without prompt and professional treatment, your pet’s plaque and gingivitis could worsen and eventually lead to cavities, recessed gums, loose teeth, exposed tooth roots and vulnerability to bacterial infection. Each of these conditions are very painful.
In addition to comprehensive dental exams, we also offer teeth cleaning and polishing to improve the health and comfort of your pet. We even provide advanced dental services, such as tooth extraction, root canals, cavity care, and treatment for periodontal disease. Our pet health professionals can suggest ways you can keep your pet’s teeth healthy at home.
Schedule an appointment with Fullerton Animal Hospital today at (410) 892-1212 to improve the health of your pet’s teeth and gums.
Veterinary Dentistry and Your Pet’s Health
Often overlooked in a pet’s wellness plan, dental hygiene – like vaccines, nutrition, and exercise – is essential to your dog or cat’s health. When left unattended, poor dental hygiene can become detrimental to a pet’s wellbeing, leading to oral discomfort, pain, illness, and serious health complications. Including veterinary dentistry in your pet’s lifelong wellness plan will help ensure your cat or dog lives a happy, healthy life.
Pet Dentistry FAQs from our Fullerton Animal Hospital Veterinarians
For your convenience, our veterinarians have compiled a list of frequently asked questions regarding veterinary dentistry. If you have more specific questions or are concerned about your pet’s dental health, we recommend scheduling an appointment with our veterinarians by contacting us at (410) 892-1212.
Why is veterinary dentistry important for my cat or dog?
Pets benefit from good oral hygiene in the same ways people do. Good dental hygiene promotes healthy teeth, gums, mouths, and bodies. Dental care is an essential part of your pet’s preventative wellness care.
What health complications can result from neglected teeth?
When plaque and tartar begin to build up on neglected teeth, pockets created in the gums become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. These bacteria can cause tooth abscesses, cavities, tooth loss, difficulty eating and drinking, and periodontal disease. Periodontal disease, also referred to as gum disease, can eventually lead to blood infections and damage your pet’s kidneys, liver, lungs, and heart. An unfortunate result of these complications, poor oral hygiene can be deadly for pets.
How often should my pet have a dental exam?
Our veterinarians recommend pets have an annual dental exam which can be scheduled along with a regular yearly wellness check. During a dental examination, our veterinarians will inspect your pet’s teeth, looking for signs of excessive tartar build up, cavities, damaged teeth, or gum disease. Our veterinarians will make treatment recommendations based on the state of your individual pet’s oral health. Treatments might include home care, dental cleaning, tooth extraction, or antibiotics.
What does a pet dental cleaning entail?
Our veterinarians and assistants use the same tools to clean teeth as your dentist. A scaler is used to remove tartar deposits and excess plaque. We also use a polisher to polish teeth, helping to prevent future build up.
Will my pet experience any pain or discomfort during a dental exam and cleaning?
During all dental procedures, our staff uses a gentle touch, ensuring pets remain calm and comfortable. For pets who experience high anxiety during veterinary visits, the dental cleanings can be performed with pets under anesthesia to eliminate stress on pets and their owners during the appointment. For more invasive procedures which require surgery like a tooth extraction, our veterinarians will always recommend the use of local or general anesthesia to ensure pets feel no pain.
What can I do at home to improve my pet’s dental health?
In addition to brushing your pet’s teeth, you can practice good oral hygiene at home by providing pets dental-friendly toys, treats, and foods.
For more information or to make an appointment, contact Fullerton Animal Hospital, located in Baltimore, MD at (410) 892-1212.