Before and After: Why Does Pet Dental Cleaning Matter?

October 20th, 2016 by Daniel Mudrick

We brush, and hopefully floss and rinse, our teeth every single day to keep them clean and healthy. But what about our pets?

Dental health problems are the most frequently diagnosed health problem in pets – and unfortunately, oral and dental disease can have a significant impact on your pet’s overall health. For both dogs and cats, regular dental maintenance and checkups are some of the top things you can do to prolong their life and improve quality of life.

Proactive Pet Dental Care Is Essential

Poor dental care can lead to many serious health issues, including organ damage, heart valve disease, and diabetes. Periodontitis, resulting from untreated gingivitis, is irreversible and can lead to tooth loss. We can’t stress enough how essential it is for pet owners to prioritize proactive, preventive dental care for their pets to eliminate potential dental conditions before they arise.

On top of the health benefits, it’s also less expensive to prevent dental diseases than to treat them. Treating a pet’s dental problem can require major surgery and expensive medications.

All you need to do to be proactive is:

  • Brush their teeth daily (ask your vet to show you how!)
  • Bring them to the vet for regular dental checkups and cleanings
  • Feed them a nutritional diet that supports oral health
  • Give them dental treats and chews to help them keep their teeth clean

Especially if you aren’t regularly brushing your pet’s teeth at home, they need to come in for a proper cleaning at the vet!

Look at the difference before and after a dental cleaning for one of our patients!

before and after pet dental cleaning

This patient received a professional dental cleaning at Clarkson Village Animal Hospital. A polish and tartar and plaque removal revealed healthy teeth underneath!

Signs of Pet Dental Health Problems to Watch For

  • Bad breath (it’s not normal!)
  • Red, swollen gums
  • Brown-yellow tartar on teeth
  • Bleeding from the mouth
  • Excessive drooling
  • Reluctance to eat or to chew on toys
  • Unusual pawing at the face and mouth or rubbing face on the ground
  • Loose or missing teeth

Your pet should come in at least once per year for a checkup, and dental cleaning as needed– but if you notice any of these symptoms in between regular checkups, you should schedule an appointment with your vet right away.

Remember, by looking at the teeth, all you see is the crown of the tooth. X-ray is needed to see the roots, and a probe is needed to see the depth of the gums.


Clarkson Village Animal Hospital can help you keep your pet’s mouth healthy through both prevention and treatment. Make an appointment now!

Trying to introduce a dog and cat without your house becoming a battlefield? Check out our step-by-step guide: How to Introduce Cats and Dogs So They’ll Get Along!

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About Daniel Mudrick

I'm the owner and founder of Clarkson Village Animal Hospital, a state-of-the-art veterinary hospital that's open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Clarkson Village Animal Hospital has always been a dream of mine, and by caring for one patient at a time, the hospital has continued to grow. During those rare times when I'm not at the hospital, I'm at yoga, hiking, gardening, and spending time with my family. I also enjoy reading to stay current on the most recent advances in veterinary medicine.

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