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Our Leonardtown Veterinarian Explains the Importance of Pet Dental Care

Your pet’s oral hygiene affects both its comfort and quality of life. As a responsible pet owner, it’s your job to ensure that your pet gets regular tooth brushings at home and dental checkups from the veterinarian. Without this kind of care, your pet could lose his or her teeth and develop painful dental diseases. Poor dental health in pets has even been linked with decreased lifespan and an increased risk of other diseases including heart disease and dementia (because bacteria from infected teeth can leech into the bloodstream and wreak havoc elsewhere in the body). That's right: dental care for cats and dogs is really is key! Fortunately, our Leonardtown veterinarian can help. 

Dog getting his teeth cleaned at the veterinarian.

Pet Dental Disease Warning Signs

By regularly brushing your pet’s teeth and also watching his or her regular habits, you’ll be in the perfect position to notice if your pet starts to show symptoms of dental disease. Watch out for these pet dental disease warning signs:

  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Discolored teeth and gums
  • Aversion to crunchy foods
  • Reduced appetite
  • Swelling and discomfort in the mouth

It's important to remember that not all dental health problems will show symptoms early on in the disease process. So to ensure early detection and treatment, it's important to bring your animal in for a regular pet dental exam so that our trained vet team can thoroughly evaluate the health of your cat or dog's teeth and gums.

What to Expect At Your Animal's Pet Dental Exam

At your animal's next pet dental exam at our Leonardtown animal hospital, you can expect our vet to do the following: 

  • Thoroughly clean the gums and teeth - Your pet’s veterinarian will carefully inspect each tooth and gum area, and remove any bacteria-forming tartar that may have built up on the tooth enamel or around the gum line.
  • Take X-rays of your pet's mouth and jaw - This helps us detect any early warning signs of gum or tooth disease, and help guide our pet dental surgery procedures. We use state-of-the-art digital radiography to enhance both diagnosis and treatment. 
  • Perform dental procedures as necessary - Pets can get cavities and be treated for them just like humans. Common treatments include cavity fillings and tooth extractions. At our facility, every surgical procedure, no matter how great or small, is performed by our highly trained veterinarian team using state-of-the-art equipment and by following the standard and strict surgery protocols to ensure the highest quality outcomes for your pet. 
  • Show you how to clean your pet’s teeth - Your pet’s veterinarian may also show you the best methods to help you keep your pet’s teeth clean and healthy. We can also give you special recommendations including pet-safe snacks and toys that will encourage safe chewing and prevent further tartar buildup.

The comfort and safety of your pet are our number one priority. During your pet’s dental checkup, our Leonardtown vet staff will administer anesthesia to make the procedure more comfortable for your animal. Anesthesia also allows our staff members to be safe and perform their examination, cleaning, and/or pet dental surgery more thoroughly since your pet will be still throughout the procedure. 

Every dental checkup might be a little bit different, depending on your animal's unique dental health needs. But your pet’s veterinarian will know what to do to maximize your pet's dental health as much as possible. 

Contact Breton Veterinary Hospital for More Information Today!

Don’t underestimate the importance of pet dental care! For more information about premier pet dental care for dogs and cats in Southern Maryland, contact Dr. Fenwick, our local vet at Breton Animal Hospital. She proudly accepts pets from Leonardtown, Hollywood, Lexington Park, Callaway, and surrounding St. Mary’s County communities.