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Dental Basics

1. Dental PLAQUE (the film you can feel on your teeth) is a component of TARTAR (the hard yellow stuff that you can see). The tartar pushes up against the gums and causes GINGIVITIS (inflammation of the gums). If this goes untreated, PERIODONTAL DISEASE develops which is a breakdown of the supporting structures of the tooth, which leads to tooth loss and damage to the bone.

 

2. A dental procedure consists of SCALING and POLISHING. The scaling uses a power scaler (faster than a hand scaler) to remove the tartar and plaque above and below the gumline. The polishing buffs the tooth and smooths all the little microscopic lines and fissures that attract bacteria.

 

3. GINGIVITIS and PERIODONTAL DISEASE affect the entire body. Bacteria enter the bloodstream through the gums and can affect the heart, liver and kidneys.

 

4. DENTAL PAIN, especially from fractured teeth, can be significant. Dogs and cats will continue to eat despite this pain, as eating is a survival instinct. Often the pain is chronic and low grade.

 

5. EXTRACTIONS – we only extract teeth that need to be extracted and ones that are causing disease. The patients are not using these teeth to eat and will feel better and be healthier once they are removed

 

BOTTOM LINE: REGULAR DENTALS WILL MAKE YOUR PETS FEEL BETTER AND LIVE LONGER