MPH Blog

Posts for tag: periodontal disease

By R. deLeon-Mims of Morena Pet Hospital
October 03, 2013
Category: Dentistry

Have you looked inside your pet’s mouth lately?  It seems like an odd thing to do, but it’s a huge step towards proper pet healthcare.

Studies show that more than 85% of pets develop periodontal disease by the age of 3! Here at Morena Pet Hospital we know the importance of regular dental exams, where we assess the overall health of the teeth and gums of your furry friend.  Problems such as plaque, gingivitis, broken or missing teeth, and masses in the mouth are all tell-tale signs of periodontal disease.  Untreated dental issues may even cause further health complications, as the bacteria of the mouth is carried through the bloodstream which may lead to infection in the heart, liver, or kidneys.

But there is something that we can all do as pet owners.  Having a dental prevention plan in place will help to prevent periodontal disease in our family pets.

-Schedule regular health and dental exams once or twice a year with your veterinarian

-Start a dental routine consisting of teeth brushing, specifically formulated dental treats and toys, and/or special dental sprays or additives to help keep periodontal disease away (See How to Brush your Pet's Teeth for a step-by-step guide to brushing your pet’s teeth at home)

-Check your pet’s teeth at home for discoloration, plaque and calculus build up, or any pain and/or tenderness when you touch your pet’s mouth and face

-Regularly scheduled anesthetic dental cleanings at your veterinarian may also be necessary to keep your pet’s dental care up to par

Dentals for Dogs and Cats FAQs

1.  Does my pet need to be anesthetized to perform a dental cleaning?

To perform a proper dental prophylaxis a pet must be anesthetized.  This allows for immobilization to clean below the gum line using an ultrasonic scaler and polisher, a more thorough exam of the pet’s mouth, gums, teeth and tongue, pain control, and protection of the airway and lungs of accidental aspiration of bacteria and dental debris. 

 2.  My pet does not like his teeth being brushed, what can I do?

See our link *here* for a guide on how to introduce brushing to our pets.

3.  How often should my pet get her teeth cleaned by a veterinarian?

There is no blanket answer for this question.  It depends on the rate in which your pet’s accumulates plaque and tartar on her teeth.  Many factors determine this, such as breed type, age, and whether or not you provide dental care at home (tooth brushing, dental treats, etc) The best way to see if your pet needs a cleaning is to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to evaluate her dental health.

4.  Is the anesthesia safe that you use for dentals?

We take every precaution to provide safe anesthetic procedures for all our patients.  A pre-operative blood panel is required for all pets to qualify them for an anesthetic procedure. Also, other testing such as pre-operative EKGs or xrays may be necessary to ensure the pet’s health and safety.  During the dental, the pet is carefully monitored by a veterinary technician/assistant and with similar monitoring devices as those used in human hospitals.

Dental care is a priority here at Morena Pet Hospital.  If you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s dental health please don’t hesitate to call us.  We are currently having our Fall Dental Special from now until the end of November where all associated medical services are 20% off.  Have your pet’s dental health evaluated today!

Rosa deLeon-Mims


Brooks, Wendy, DVM. Dental Home Care. The Pet Health Library, 2012

Peak, Michael, DVM. Caring for your pet’s teeth and gums. Veterinary Medicine, 2003



By Morena Pet Hospital
March 01, 2013
Category: Dentistry


Dear Pet Owner,

Cats and dogs, like people, have one set of baby teeth which are replaced by a set of permanent teeth at around 6 months of age. These teeth have to last a lifetime, which is why it's so important for your pet to have a regular dental check-up every 6 months to one year.

Have you looked inside of your pet's mouth lately? It seems like an odd thing to do, but it's a huge step towards proper pet healthcare. Oral disease is the most commonly diagnosed problem in patients of small animal hospitals. Studies show that as many as 80% of dogs and 70% of cats develop signs of periodontal disease or gingivitis before they reach three years of age.

During a dental check-up, your pet's teeth will be examined for cavities, faulty enamel, root exposure, tartar, and any sign of loose or cracked teeth. In addition, the gums will be examined for any sign of disease or inflammation. By far, the most common form of dental disease in animals is dental calculus - plaque buildup.

Plaque is an accumulation of soft tissue and bacterial debris mixed with salivary secretions, and it can cause serious problems including gum recession, loosening of the periodontal ligament and teeth, loss of bone surrounding the teeth, and tooth abscesses. Symptoms include bad breath, mouth pain, and an inability to chew properly. Some of the more serious problems associated with periodontal disease occur when bacteria from the plaque gets into the sinuses, and from there into the bloodstream. The bacteria then finds its way to the areas of high blood flow, potentially causing disease in heart, lungs, kidneys, and liver.

The good news is PREVENTION is easy! Start by having your pet’s teeth and gums periodically examined for evidence of dental problems once or twice a year and professionally cleaned as needed. Imagine what might happen if you hadn’t seen a dentist until you were 20 years old! A dental exam and cleaning should become part of your pet’s regular veterinary visits. 

A diet of dry food, as well as hard treats, and even regular tooth brushing with a pet-specific toothpaste can help to maintain your pet's dental health between tooth cleanings. Starting your pet on a dental care regimen can help detect existing problems early before they become more serious and also prevent new ones from starting. With dental disease, just with any health-care issue, the best defense is a good offense! Working together, we can help keep your pet’s teeth and his/her overall health in check. At your next visit, please ask us for a hands-on lesson in providing good home dental care for your pet.

Call to have your pet’s dental health evaluated today!


The Doctors and Staff of Morena Pet Hospital