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Your pet's mouth is the busiest place on his or her body. Eating, drinking, chewing on toys, bones and treats, and digging holes head-first in the backyard are just a handful of the scenarios in which your pet uses his or her mouth to experience the world. Although you might go to great lengths to ensure that your pet never misses his or her yearly vaccination appointment, it is highly likely that you might neglect to book the all-important annual pet dental checkup. Our Los Lunas veterinarian wants to educate our pet parents about the health dangers that manifest due to this oversight, and the potentially lifesaving benefits that yearly pet dental checkups yield in terms of early detection and early correction.
Like humans, pets are subject to the development of periodontal disease that can ultimately cause tooth and gum loss. Periodontal disease develops when bacteria, food particles and saliva present in pet's mouths form a yellow film over the teeth and gums known as plague. Plague is eradicated during daily teeth brushing. However, if pet owners do not brush their pet's teeth every day, it builds up and forms tartar, a hard substance that causes bad breath, agonizing mouth pain, gum recession and tooth decay. Over time, tartar causes pet's teeth to literally fall out. To make matters worse, tartar acts as a permanent resting place for numerous strains of bacteria that, when left untreated, enters the pet's bloodstream and can permanently damage his or her heart, kidneys and liver.
During an annual pet dental examination, our Los Lunas veterinarians thoroughly examine each pet's head, neck, teeth and gums for signs of periodontal disease. Some typical signals include swollen lymph nodes, tooth abscesses, bad breath, mouth bleeding, and light, moderate or excessive tartar buildup above or below the pet's gum line. Our Los Lunas veterinary team also examines the pet's mouth for any signs of precancerous or cancerous lumps or growths.
After the pet dental checkup, our South Valley Animal Clinic veterinarians alert you to any abnormalities present in the pet's mouth. If none are found, our physicians instruct you on how to brush your pet's teeth at home, and use specially formulated dental chews to help better protect your pet's teeth between brushings. However, if our South Valley veterinarians discover tartar buildup, the doctors strongly recommend that your pet undergo a routine teeth cleaning to restore his or her optimal mouth health. Lastly, if any lumps or growths are present in the pet's mouth, our South Valley vets perform a biopsy to accurately confirm or dismiss the presence of oral cancer.
Throughout the pet dental process, our Los Lunas veterinarian team is here for your pet. Call us today to schedule a pet dental checkup that saves your pet's teeth today, and possibly adds years to his or her life.