Does My Pet Need Dental Treatment?

Does My Pet Need Dental Treatment?

by Petfolk Care Team

Medically reviewed by Dr. Jessica Taylor

One of the most common reasons pets are seen by a veterinarian is dental disease. Dental disease leads to health complications, pain, and poor quality of life for many animals. But how do you know if your pet needs a dental cleaning? At your pet’s annual checkup, your pet’s mouth will be thoroughly examined (senior pets will have bi-annual visits), but between appointments, you can be aware of dental disease by watching for the following signs.  If you are concerned that your pet is exhibiting any of these signs, they should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. 

Signs your pet may need dental treatment: 

  • Bad breath
  • No longer chewing on hard chews or dry food they used to love
  • Bleeding from the gums when chewing on toys or treats
  • Crying out when chewing
  • Taking longer to eat meals
  • Dropping food from their mouth when eating 
  • Drooling excessively
  • Rubbing their face on the floor or furniture
  • Pawing at their face
  • Doesn’t want to be touched around the face and head
  • Thick yellow or brown material visible on the teeth
  • Nasal discharge or nasal bleeds
  • Swelling or bumps in the face or jaw region
  • Weight loss

At Petfolk, our dental cleaning is called COHAT, which stands for Comprehensive Oral Health Assessment and Treatment. A COHAT consists of general anesthesia, full-mouth X-rays to look for the disease under the gum line, a thorough cleaning of every tooth with an ultrasonic scaling system, polishing, extraction of any severely diseased teeth, as well as local nerve blocks and post-operative pain medications. (Diseased teeth may be addressed in a follow-up procedure to ensure the safety of your pet and the ability for our team to communicate what to expect.) If your pet is diagnosed with dental disease, one of our veterinarians will talk with you about treatment options and how to help slow down the progression of dental disease. You know that sparkly clean feeling you feel after leaving your dental cleaning? Your pet deserves to feel that too! The veterinarians at Petfolk are committed to providing high-quality medical and dental care for your pet, helping them to live healthy, happy lives. We promise they’ll love their fresh breath as much as you will.

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