Veterinary dentistry has come a long way in the past 20 years. It has seen tremendous growth as veterinarians become more highly trained in dental care, prevention and treatment.

A pet with excellent oral health has no offensive mouth odor. Bad breath originates from bacteria growing in the tooth sulcus. This bacteria creates a complex bio-film called plaque. Plaque can be removed through the mechanical activity of brushing, flossing, Hextra chews, tartar control treats, and/or water additives that kill bacteria with each drink of water. If the plaque remains, gingival inflammation begins, and after 48 to 72 hours the plaque begins to mineralize and form calculus.

Once calculus forms on the tooth surface, the only way to effectively remove it is through a professional teeth cleaning by a veterinarian. It is important to do a dental cleaning when the earliest signs of plaque and calculus appear, before the normal architecture is lost and before damage occurs to the gum tissue, periodontal ligaments or the jaw. Untreated tooth and gum disease may also allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream and cause damage to the kidneys, lungs, liver and valves of the heart.

No one is better trained to develop a life-time preventative dental care plan for your animal than your veterinarian. Dental care begins at Arlington Animal Hospital the very first time we see a new puppy or kitten. Owners are given a toothbrush and taught from the very beginning how to brush their pet’s teeth. Then throughout the life of your pet, our veterinarians and technicians provide you with information, training and tools to maintain excellent oral health.

October is Dental Health Month at Arlington Animal Hospital. We are excited to provide a comprehensive teeth cleaning and polishing at a discounted price. You will receive a reminder email or postcard plus a friendly telephone call from us if Dr. Harris and her staff have identified a dental problem in your pet’s mouth during the past year.

Happy Halloween and Happy Dental Health!
Dr. Bonnie

Pet of the Month: Buster & Cinnamon!