Phone: (301) 829-4099
veterinary dental

Your Pet’s Dental Health is Key to Their Comfort

With an emphasis on pet dental hygiene and long-term care, Mount Airy Veterinary Associates can help you formulate an at-home dental care plan that keeps your pet’s mouth clean and comfortable and gives them the professional care they need, when they need it. With dental issues like periodontal disease being incredibly common in cats and dogs, tooth resorption becoming an issue for many cats, and overgrown incisors affecting rodents, our team can ensure proper treatment and, ultimately, your pet’s comfort.

Care for Common Dental Diseases

Periodontal disease is the most common dental condition in dogs and cats, and it is entirely preventable! As bacteria spend time on the teeth, they develop into plaque and harden into tartar. The bacteria then make their way under the gum line causing inflammation of the gums (gingivitis), infection, and bone loss.

We identify these abnormalities by carefully probing pockets around teeth, taking and examining dental x-rays, and feeling to check if any teeth are mobile. All of this is performed while your pet is under anesthesia for a dental cleaning, ensuring their comfort. Like all areas of pet health care, we at Mount Airy Veterinary Associates emphasize preventative dental care in an effort to maintain oral health and decrease the prevalence of periodontal disease.

What Does a Professional Veterinary Dental Cleaning Entail?

We strongly encourage all of our clients to brush their pets’ teeth daily, but even with excellent home care, most pets will need a professional dental procedure at some point in their lives — the same way humans do! Learn about the full process of our veterinary dental cleanings below.

All cleanings take place in our state-of-the-art dental suite.

Your pet will be put under anesthesia for comfort and ease.

Their teeth will be carefully probed for pockets and lesions and then scaled and polished.

Depending on what’s needed, digital x-rays may be taken of specific teeth that appear to be diseased or the full mouth.

Since most dental disease lives below the gum line, the x-rays will allow us to see the tooth root and the surrounding tissue.

After examining the x-rays, we will be able to diagnose bone loss, tooth root infections, fractures, and resorptive lesions.

Following diagnoses, we will extract any diseased teeth and close the sites with a dissolvable suture material.

X-rays will also be taken after a tooth is removed to make sure no part of the root remains.

At the end of the procedure, we apply fluoride to the teeth to help keep them resilient against damage.

Animals are then sent home with medications to help with any inflammation and discomfort. Recovery is usually uneventful, and within a few days, most pets feel better and have a much healthier mouth!

What Is Tooth Resorption?

Tooth resorption is a common finding in cats and, unfortunately, its cause is unknown. Tooth resorption consists of cells called odonoclasts being turned on by the body, then starting to eat away at the teeth.

Tooth resorption is a painful process, so it is important to identify these lesions early and keep your furry friend feeling great. Some resorptive lesions can be seen on an awake oral examination during your cat’s annual visit, but many lesions are below the gum line and can only be identified by dental x-rays during a dental cleaning.

We recommend performing full-mouth dental x-rays in cats with resorptive lesions. Extraction and crown amputation are the only treatments for teeth affected by resorptive lesions. It is important to closely monitor cats with a history of tooth resorption, as any tooth can become affected at any time.

Our Recommendations for Sound At-Home Pet Dental Care

Prevention of periodontal disease is key! The best way to prevent periodontal disease is by brushing plaque off the teeth, ideally on a daily basis. The use of a toothbrush, fingerbrush, or dental wipe is recommended. Pet-friendly toothpaste can be used in conjunction with brushing. Gradually introducing these products to your pets will allow them to become used to, and even enjoy, daily brushing.

There are dental diets as well as oral rinses and gels that are also available to help prevent periodontal disease. Rinses and gels should have chlorhexidine, an antiseptic, as the active ingredient. Our friendly staff would be delighted to help you determine the best products for your pets. Please contact us for more information and recommendations.

To learn more about dental disease in dogs and cats, please visit the American Veterinary Dental College website by clicking here.

Keep Your Pet’s Teeth Squeaky Clean

Dental issues like periodontal disease or tooth resorption can cause a great deal of discomfort for your pet, and get in the way of their daily habits and eating. Avoid these issues with preventative dental care, and face any problems that arise head-on with professional cleaning. To schedule a dental appointment today, click the link below.