The Top 4 Signs Your Pet Needs Their Teeth Examined

February 12th 2020

By Dr. Tara Pugh

Do you know what to look for when it comes to your pet’s dental health? An unhealthy mouth can cause a lot of pain and subsequent health issues for your dog or cat, so it is important to keep an eye out for the signs of tooth decay and dental disease before it is too advanced.
Taking your pet to the vet for their annual or semi-annual check-up is important as it allows your vet to take a look at their teeth, gums and mouth. Your vet may recommend taking full mouth radiographs of their teeth to determine if there are any problems below the gumline. This procedure has to be done under general anesthetic and includes a full dental examination and a scale and polish. While daily brushing and gentle dentals can help to prevent the build-up of scale and tartar, there is no way to know if the teeth are healthy below the gumline other than with dental radiographs.
The reason why we vets take animal’s dental health so seriously is because it can cause them substantial pain and suffering and can even lead to systemic disease. Read our blog on the serious problems that can result from dental disease here.
So, what should you watch out for when it comes to your pet’s oral health?

Here are the top 4 signs your pet may be experiencing dental health issues:

  1. Discoloration of the teeth. Your pet’s teeth shouldn’t have irregularities on the surface. Their teeth should be nice and white and smooth, not yellow, brown or grey.
  2. Their gums should be a healthy pink color. If they are red, inflamed, or bleed regularly that is a sign of infection.
  3. Drooling and dropping food while eating is a sign of tooth or mouth pain. If they aren’t able to chew like they used to, or only chew on a particular side - they should see their vet.
  4. Swelling under the eyes can be a sign of a tooth root abscess and they should be seen by a vet right away. 

If your pet is showing signs of dental problems and you would like to have them examined, call our clinic at (403) 615-8016.

If you have questions about the cost of dental cleanings and surgery and what is involved, please read our blog here and see some before and after pictures of cleaned teeth. Our clinic offers annual wellness plans that can be broken down into monthly payments, to help our clients budget for the expense of dental cleanings*. Click here to learn what is included in our annual wellness plans. 
We also recommend daily teeth brushing for cats and dogs. If you are interested in finding out how to start brushing your pet’s teeth read our blog and watch the demo videos.

*Our annual wellness plans do not include extractions and dental surgery.

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