Periodontal disease is the most common condition seen by veterinarians. Did you know that 75-85% of pets over the age of 3 have dental disease? We at Apple Grove Veterinary Care place great emphasis on dental care, not only to prevent tooth decay and bad breath, but also to prevent secondary diseases of the liver, kidney and heart.

  Canine Dental - Before
  Canine Dental - After
  Before and after dental photos of Delta, a West Highland Terrier patient of Apple Grove Veterinary Care.

Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease in Pets

  • bad breath
  • sensitivity around the mouth
  • loss of appetite
  • difficulty eating or chewing food
  • backing away from food bowl
  • red gums
  • yellow or brownish buildup on the teeth
  • facial swelling

Apple Grove Veterinary Care is fully equipped to perform thorough dental cleaning under general anesthesia.

What's included in a professional dental cleaning?

  • Bloodwork
  • Anesthesia
  • Oral Exam/Assessment
  • Scaling
  • Polishing
  • ECG & Blood Pressure monitoring by a licensed veterinary technician
  • Nail Trim
  • Ear Cleaning
  • Detailed chart of the pet’s tooth problems – such as missing, loose or fractured teeth as well as procedures performed
  • Follow-up recommendations and a sample of food and treats that can help to control plaque and tartar
  • A no charge re-check in 2 weeks

Dental extractions may be necessary due to advanced dental disease or tooth mobility. The extractions are done with local anesthesia and nerve blocks to minimize pain. Fees range depending on level of difficulty and quantity. In some cases, extractions may necessitate the need for pain medications and/or antibiotics.

Why is a professional dental cleaning important for my pet?

  • Dental cleanings can cure bad breath and keep breath fresh for more enjoyable "kisses"!
  • Poor oral health can lead to heart, liver and kidney problems for your pet and possibly tooth loss due to decay.
  • Helps your pet live a longer, healthier life.

During the dental cleaning...

  • A licensed veterinary technician will monitor your pet’s vital signs, such as body temperature, heart rate, and respiration, as well as other important factors. This helps ensure the safety of your pet while undergoing anesthesia.
  • A veterinary assistant will do a complimentary nail trim and ear cleaning.
  • The licensed veterinary technician will clean and scale each tooth with an ultrasonic dental instrument, similar to a water-pick.
  • The veterinarian will again examine the teeth and determine if any teeth need to be extracted. Teeth that are loose or infected will be removed.
  • The technician will then polish each tooth with a paste similar to what your dentist uses on you.

Dental Facts...

  • 85% of adult pets have periodontal disease.
  • Kittens have 26 deciduous, or baby, teeth and puppies have 28 deciduous teeth. People have 20.
  • Adult cats have 30 permanent teeth and dogs have 42. People have 32.
  • The oral infection caused by plaque and calculus may enter the bloodstream, potentially affecting the heart, liver, and kidneys.
  • By age 3, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease, according to the American Veterinary Dental Society.
  • One of the biggest threats periodontal disease poses is secondary heart valve infection.
  • Bacteria cause plaque formation on the tooth. As bacteria grow in the plaque and calcium is deposited, plaque becomes mineralized calculus.
  • Good oral healthcare can extend a pet’s life expectancy and reduce the risk of serious secondary conditions.

Products to aid in at home dental care…

We offer many different options to choose from, making it easier for you to decide which will work best for your pet. Please feel free to consult with the veterinarian or technician on which products are recommended for your pet. These select products are only sold through veterinarians:

  • CET Chews — Made from beef hide, coated with CET dual enzyme system for antibacterial and plaque control; poultry flavor; also available for cats.
  • Aquadent — Breath-freshening additive for drinking water; helps fight plaque accumulation.
  • t/d Dog & Cat foods (Hill’s Prescription Diet) or Purina DH Dog & Cat foods (Purina Veterinary Diets) — Nutritional management of animals with dental disease; fiber matrix scrubs teeth like an "edible toothbrush"; can also be used for treats.
  • CET Toothpaste — Contains CET dual enzyme system to inhibit formation of plaque; specially formulated for animals, no foaming agents.
  • DentAcetic Wipes — Once daily; remove wipes and rub against teeth and/or gums.