If your vet has recently recommended a professional teeth cleaning for your dog, you may be wondering whether this procedure is worth it. In the past, pet owners did not get professional teeth cleanings for their dogs, but in recent years we have come to understand just how crucial these cleanings can be.
Read through the information below to find out more about what makes a veterinarian teeth cleaning so important for your dog. You can use this information to help you choose or to figure out questions you might want to ask your vet.
1. Bad Breath
One of the most common reasons why pet owners consider having a professional teeth cleaning for their dogs is simply bad breath. Younger dogs are more likely to have bad breath than any other concerns on this list, and a dental cleaning can help.
You can also help your dog combat bad breath by keeping up with regular teeth cleanings throughout the month at home. Get your dog used to having his teeth brushed from an early stage so he will let you brush them at least monthly. This will provide better dental health and better breath at the same time.
2. Cavities and Rotting Teeth
Some dogs may develop cavities, just like humans do. Other dogs, especially those who have not had their teeth cleaned professionally before, may develop rotting teeth, broken teeth, or other irreversible damage related to dental decay. When you have your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned, you can ensure the vet notices these problems before they get even more out of hand.
Your vet may recommend having some of your dog’s teeth pulled to help deal with the more serious of these problems. For example, a rotten tooth is not likely to be able to be saved, so it should be pulled to prevent pain.
Regular teeth cleanings can make it easier for your vet to notice abscesses on your dog’s gums as well. Abscesses themselves are not usually very serious, but they can sometimes develop into more concerning problems or lead to severe infections if left untreated.
Your vet will check your dog’s gums and mouth thoroughly during a dental cleaning and will notice problems that may lead to abscesses before they get out of hand. The vet can then provide you with the right treatment solutions to keep your dog’s gums and mouth healthier over time.
4. Gum Disease
Monitoring, managing, and checking for gum disease is another benefit of having your dog’s teeth regularly cleaned by the vet. The vet will check the dog’s gums for any signs of this condition and will let you know if any signs are present. The vet will also take note of the severity of the gum disease so they can recommend the right treatment plan for your dog.
Regular dental cleanings will also make it much less likely for your dog to develop gum disease in the first place. Keeping your dog’s teeth and gums clean and maintained can prevent this problem altogether.
5. Oral Cancer
While teeth cleanings cannot completely prevent oral cancer, they can cut down on your dog’s risk of developing oral cancer. Additionally, like all the other benefits listed here, dental cleanings will make it easier for your vet to notice signs of oral cancer before the condition reaches severe stages.
During the teeth cleaning process, your vet will check for signs of oral cancer or concerning areas within your dog’s mouth. If any problems are noticed, the vet will talk with you about further testing such as biopsies that may need to be performed to diagnose your dog correctly.
6. Heart Disease
Finally, your dog requires regular teeth cleanings to help cut down significantly on the risk of heart disease. Just like humans, dogs may be more prone to developing heart disease if their teeth are left uncleaned and unmaintained for a long time. Plaque buildup on the teeth can travel through the bloodstream to the heart and cause damage to this vital organ.
When a dog’s teeth are not cleaned often, bacteria also build up on the surface of the teeth. This, too, can get into a dog’s bloodstream and travel to the heart as well as the liver, the kidneys, and even the lungs in severe instances.
Book a Dog Teeth Cleaning Today
Just like humans, dogs need regular teeth cleanings to help improve their overall health and wellbeing. A dog with well-maintained teeth and gums may even be able to live a longer life, depending on the individual dog, and is sure to live a life that is less likely to involve dental pain in his later years.
If you have any more questions or concerns about this procedure, be sure to speak to your veterinarian at Live Oak Veterinary Hospital by calling 209-432-9437 or booking an appointment online for more information. Your vet will be able to give you specialized recommendations for your own individual dog.