Dental disease, one of the most common problems seen in our veterinary patients, can cause many problems such as bad breath, difficulty chewing and gum infections. If left untreated, periodontal disease will lead to tooth abscess, tooth loss, and infections in other organs such as the heart, kidneys and lungs.

Periodontal disease is secondary to the build-up of plaque and tartar. The plaque left on teeth becomes colonized by bacteria, and over time continues to multiply and become part of the tartar attached to the tooth. As the tartar builds, the bacteria become part of a biofilm that goes under the gum line. This infection will cause breakdown of the ligaments that hold the tooth to the bone. The loss of the periodontal ligaments causes the tooth to become loose. The good news is that daily brushing can help remove plaque before it becomes mineralized!

A yearly professional teeth cleaning by your veterinarian will prevent dental problems, gum disease and tooth loss. This procedure is performed with safe gas anesthesia, EKG and vital signs monitoring, and state-of-the-art dental equipment. After the dental cleaning, your veterinarian will prescribe a home maintenance program to prevent plaque buildup.

October is Dental Health Month at Arlington Animal Hospital. Our goal is prevention, so that your pet can live a long, healthy life. Schedule your pet’s teeth cleaning today!

The Pet of the Month for October is Toby!