MPH Blog

Posts for tag: pet dentistry

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