Dental Health

Your pet’s dental health is important.

80% of dogs and cats have dental disease by 3 years old.
Every wellness exam at Perryville Pet Hospital includes a thorough dental exam.

Help to prevent and treat your pet’s dental disease! Check out the following videos and info below.

What To Expect at a Dental Cleaning
  • Gingivitis is reversible with a dental cleaning.
  • Periodontal disease is not reversible, but we can slow down the process of damage that has already occurred.
  • Sometimes extractions cannot be determined until the pet is under anesthesia and a more thorough oral exam can be performed.
  • Your pet will receive a complete physical and oral exam by one of our veterinarians.
  • Discuss the level of dental disease and tailor a cost plan for your pet.
  • Run bloodwork to ensure liver and kidney enzymes are normal before anesthesia.
  • Schedule a dental cleaning on a weekday & withhold food after 8 pm the night before the procedure.
  • Drop off before 8 am the morning of the procedure.
  • Your pet will receive a sedative to help them relax.
  • An IV catheter will be placed to give more anesthesia and allow us to place a breathing tube.
  • Once anesthetized, your pet’s vitals will be monitored by our veterinary technician as well as our advanced monitoring equipment. This includes EKG, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and body temperature.
  • We perform a complete oral exam, including teeth, tongue, palate, and back of the throat.
  • Digital dental x-rays are taken to ensure that any tooth decay under the gum line is found and treated or noted to monitor closely.
  • We scale and polish all the teeth and examine for any broken teeth, pockets or infections.
  • If extractions are necessary, we perform nerve blocks, just like your dentist, to minimize any discomfort.
  • Your pet recovers with a technician by their side until their vitals are normal.
  • Your pet will go home with antibiotics and pain meds if extractions are required.
  • You may feed their normal food unless they have extractions, then we recommend soft food for about 10-14 days.
  • One of our staff members will call you to schedule a pick-up time for later that afternoon. That evening they may be a little sleepy and you’ll only offer half their dinner.
  • Within 24hr your pet’s behavior should be normal
How Can You Prevent Periodontal Disease?

Find a soft toothbrush or an over-the-fingerbrush that fits your pet’s mouth. Human toothbrushes or pet toothbrushes work fine.

The mechanical action of brushing teeth removes plaque buildup.

Pet toothpaste have an added benefit by using enzymes to assist in attacking and killing the bacteria that accumulate in your pet’s mouth. Only use a pet toothpaste; do not use products with fluoride or baking soda in pets. We recommend and sell an enzymatic toothpaste designed for pets called C.E.T toothpaste.

See the infographic below for the four steps to brushing your pet’s teeth. Start gradually on one side, working up to brushing the entire mouth over a few weeks. Always use small treats to positively enforce the brushing. The mechanical action of brushing teeth removes plaque buildup, even if you just brush with water.

Click on the VOHC link below to find an approved dental health product such as treats and toys. Pick an appropriate size and strength of toy for your pet. You do not want a toy, bone or treat that is too hard, or it may fracture a tooth.

What is Periodontal disease?

This is an infection of the structures around the teeth, which include the gums, ligaments, and bones. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of periodontal disease; this is an infection of the gums and even a mild infection is enough to cause bad breath. The good news is that it’s reversible with brushing and a dental cleaning. More advanced periodontal disease may not be reversible and all of the structures of the teeth may be involved, which may lead to severe infections and extractions.

Signs of Periodontal disease:

– Bad breath
– Red & inflamed gums
– Dropping food or eating food without chewing
– Recession of gums
– Decreased appetite
– Loose or missing teeth

Problems of Periodontal disease:

– Bad breath makes for less cuddle time
– Painful mouth & gums
– Tooth root abscesses/infections
– Generalized infections in the body, including kidney, bladder, and even heart valve infections.

To learn more about dental health, please click here to visit the Veterinary Oral Health Council.
Click here to view VOHC’s Accepted Products for Dogs.
Click here to view VOHC’s Accepted Products for Cats.





Our clients love dental health month! Check out these great examples of at-home dental care.