Dental hygiene is a critical component when it comes to keeping your furry family member healthy. Bad breath is more than just unpleasant, it could be the sign of a serious health risk, not just to your pet’s teeth and gums, but to his or her internal organs as well.

Periodontal or dental disease is the most common dental condition in dogs and cats and can occur by the time your beloved pet is three-years-old. The disease begins with the formation of plaque that hardens into tartar, commonly noted by those unsightly stains on your pet’s teeth and the not-so-fresh breath. However, most dental disease actually occurs below the gumline, and, although there may not be visible tartar and your furry friend's teeth look healthy, the damage could be occurring where you cannot see it. The buildup of tartar under the gumline paves the way for infection and damage to the jawbone as well as the tissue that connects your pet's teeth to his or her jawbone. Progression of the disease can lead to pain and other health problems due to the effect the disease can have on your pet’s kidneys, liver, and heart.

We recommend that you bring your canine companion or friendly feline in for an oral examination at least once per year so our doctors can evaluate his or her teeth and gums, and identify any problems as early detection and treatment are extremely important. Signs of dental health problems include:

  • Bad breath

  • Broken or loose teeth

  • Brown or yellow discoloration of the teeth

  • Abnormal chewing or drooling

  • Decrease in appetite or refusal to eat

  • Sensitivity or pain around the mouth

  • Red or swollen gums

  • Bleeding from the mouth

Dentistry at Malibu Coast Animal Hospital begins with an examination of your pet’s mouth. As our pets are often reluctant to open up and say “ah,” our doctors perform a general oral health assessment prior to the scheduling of dental services, and then conduct a thorough examination of your pet’s mouth when he or she is placed under general anesthesia for the dental procedure(s). We offer a digital dental X-ray that allows our doctors to evaluate the health of the jaw and each tooth root below the gumline. Dental cleanings are performed by our patient care team using an ultrasonic scaler, with special attention given to the removal of plaque and tartar from below the gum line, and is followed by high-speed polishing with a fluoride paste.

Should advanced periodontal disease or other dental health issues be uncovered during your pet’s procedure, the extraction of one or more teeth may be necessary to prevent the progression of the disease or further problems. Your pet’s safety and comfort are our highest priority, which is why dental cleanings are performed under general anesthesia and pain management are addressed before, during and after dentistry services.

In order to aid you and your pet in the quest for everlasting, or at least prolonged, fresh-breath, we offer the application of the OraVet Barrier Sealant at the completion of the dental cleaning. This sealant, when applied, adheres to the tooth enamel and creates an invisible barrier that prevents the plaque-forming bacteria from attaching to your pet’s teeth, prolonging the oral health gained with a thorough dental cleaning.

After dentistry services at Malibu Coast Animal Hospital, our friendly and educated staff discuss home dental care and the ways in which you can join us in protecting your four-legged family members from periodontal disease. We recommend continued oral care with the administration of OraVet Dental Hygiene Chews for at least two weeks after your pet’s dental services as the mouth and gums are likely too sensitive to begin a daily tooth brushing regimen.

After the two week period, we encourage you to brush your pet’s teeth daily or begin developing a routine of brushing the teeth and work up to as often as you and your pet can tolerate. If brushing your pet’s teeth on a routine basis is not for you, we encourage you to continue with the OraVet Dental Hygiene Chews, as they can be given daily to help to remove existing plaque and calculus, as well as prevent bacteria from attaching to the teeth.

If you would like more information regarding our dentistry services or would like to schedule an appointment for your four-legged family member, please call our office at (424) 402-5100 and a member of our client service team will be happy to assist you.

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