Educational Articles

Dental

  • More than half of all cats over the age of three have periodontal disease. Brushing three times a week is the minimum recommendation to help remove plaque and prevent tartar accumulation. In order to be successful at brushing your cat’s teeth, you must make it a positive experience for both of you. Do not use human toothpaste or baking soda. A list of dental products and diets that have been accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Counsel can be found at vohc.org.

  • It is estimated that over two-thirds of dogs over the age of three have periodontal disease (infection of the tissues surrounding the teeth). Brushing three times a week is the minimum recommendation to help remove plaque and prevent tartar accumulation. In order to be successful at brushing your dog's teeth, you must make it a positive experience for both of you. Do not use human toothpaste or baking soda. A list of dental products and diets that have been accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Counsel can be found on www.vohc.org.

  • Periodontal disease is the most common problem affecting cats of all age groups. The very best way to prevent periodontal disease is daily dental home care. However, it is useful to add in effective, evidence-based dental food to provide appropriate daily plaque control.

  • In veterinary dentistry tooth repair or restoration that fully covers the tooth is called a crown. Crowns are used after root canal therapy, when enamel is not present due to wear or congenital disease, causing part of the enamel not to form. An impression is made of the tooth requiring the crown, along with the surrounding upper and lower teeth. A crown is then made at a human dental lab. Crowns are most often metallic, composed of titanium, chromium, and stainless steel. Under normal wear, and with special care, the crown should last for your dog’s lifetime.

  • Cleaning your cat’s teeth every day at home will help prevent plaque and tartar build-up. Use of a pet toothpaste is recommended, but even wiping a Q-tip across your cat’s teeth and gums goes a long way to reduce plaque and tartar accumulation. For proper dental evaluation and care, your cat must be safely placed under general anesthesia. The examination usually includes dental X-rays and probing to evaluate gum bleeding and periodontal pockets. Tooth scaling will be performed, using both hand and ultrasonic scalers, to remove tartar above and below the gum line.

  • Plaque and tartar forms on teeth daily and if allowed to accumulate will cause progressive periodontal disease. Cleaning your dog’s teeth every day at home will help prevent plaque and tartar build-up. For proper dental evaluation and care, your dog must be safely placed under general anesthesia. The examination usually includes dental X-rays and probing to evaluate gum bleeding and periodontal pockets. Tooth scaling will be performed, using both hand and ultrasonic scalers, to remove tartar above and below the gum line. Removing plaque and tartar before disease occurs is the foundation of preventative dentistry.

  • Dental disease is one of the most common medical conditions seen by veterinarians. The most common dental problems seen in cats are gingivitis, periodontal, and tooth resorption. Periodontal disease is a term used to describe infection and associated inflammation of the periodontium and begins with gingivitis. Some cats develop severe oral inflammation called stomatitis. It is believed that cats who develop stomatitis have an extreme reaction to their own oral bacteria and plaque. The best way to prevent tartar build-up is through daily tooth brushing using a pet toothpaste.

  • Dental disease is one of the most common medical conditions seen by veterinarians. The most common dental problems seen in dogs are periodontal disease and fractured teeth. Periodontal disease is a term used to describe infection and associated inflammation of the periodontium and begins with gingivitis. The best way to prevent tartar build-up is through daily tooth brushing using canine toothpaste. Tooth fractures may involve the crown of the tooth, exposing the sensitive dentin or they may also extend deeper to expose the pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels. Avoid giving your dog hard chew objects that cannot bend.

  • Rabbits have incisors plus molars in the back of the mouth for grinding and chewing. Rabbits also have two small, tube-shaped incisors (peg teeth) behind the large upper incisors. Since the teeth continuously grow, the upper teeth must meet the lower teeth to allow for proper wearing of tooth surfaces, preventing overgrowth. All teeth must meet and wear at the same rate as they are growing, or malocclusion with resultant improper tooth wear, and overgrowth of the incisors and/or molars, can occur. Overgrown teeth can cause many problems. leading to pain and infection. Rabbits with chronic dental problems need regular veterinary care including repeated dental filings. Feeding rabbits a diet of mainly high-fiber hay to promote chewing and teeth wear may help reduce the development of dental problems.

  • The center of the tooth is referred to as the root canal and contains soft tissue called pulp. Root canal involves removing the pulp from the center of an injured tooth, sterilizing the canal, and replacing the removed pulp with dental materials preventing bacteria from penetrating the center of the tooth. If your cat breaks a tooth to the extent that the pulp tissue is exposed, bacteria and oral debris enter the tooth resulting in pulpitis. Once a tooth is broken with the pulp exposed there are only two choices for treatment: root canal therapy or extraction. Root canal therapy is less invasive than extraction but requires advanced training and specialized equipment. Your veterinarian can help you find a board-certified veterinary dentist.