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You may have heard that it is possible to add two to four years to your pet’s life with proper dental care. This is true, but you will also increase his or her health, vitality and wellbeing. In short, proper Scarborough veterinary dental care will help ensure your pet leads the best life possible.

However, if left untreated, dental disease can not only be painful and inhibit proper nutrition, but it can also lead to serious systemic issues that may affect your pet’s wellbeing before symptoms are noticeable. For example, oral bacteria that enter the bloodstream can damage your pet’s kidneys, heart or liver.

Despite the importance of proper dental care, dental disease is often overlooked by many pet owners across the country. For example, it is estimated that more than 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats develop tooth and gum disease by the age of three years.

This is why Birch-Dan Animal Hospital takes proper dental care so seriously. It is an important part of your pet’s preventative care program.

Dental cleanings include a complete oral exam and hand scaling followed by an ultrasonic cleaning. The procedure is finished with a polishing to help prevent plaque buildup and mouth rinse to freshen your pet’s breath. We also offer extractions, dental mass removals, and dental surgery.

Birch-Dan Animal Hospital was also the first animal hospital in Scarborough to offer digital dental radiography. These are high definition images that provide a view below your pet’s gum line and jaw in order to look for evidence of dental disease that cannot be seen by visual examination alone. This is a wonderful tool for enabling the treatment of dental issues before they become much larger and more expensive medical issues.

Should we find any abnormalities, such as evidence of gum or tooth decay, gingivitis as well as excessive plaque buildup, we will discuss them with you as well as treatment options. For complex or severe cases, a board-certified dental specialist is among our network of referral specialists.

The Importance of Home Dental Care for Your Pet

Dental care is not something that can be left to periodic visits with your veterinarian. Because plaque buildup—the primary cause of poor oral health—is a gradual process occurring throughout the life of your pet, it is important to practice good home dental care. As with humans, this means regular tooth brushing and in some cases additional steps may be necessary.

We are avid promoters of home dental care and any member of the our Scarborough veterinary staff can show you the proper method for caring for your pet’s teeth. We can also help you select the most effective dental products for your pet, which include brushing supplies and veterinarian certified dental diets that help prevent dental disease from a young age.

You should also be able to recognize the signs of poor oral health. If you notice any of the following you should contact your veterinarian:

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Tartar or plaque buildup (ask your veterinarian how to identify these)
  • A yellowish-brown crust of plaque on the teeth near the gum line
  • Red and swollen gums
  • Pain or bleeding when your pet eats or when the mouth or gums are touched
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Decreased appetite or difficulty eating
  • Loose or missing teeth