Pet Dental Care FAQs

At Alum Rock Animal Hospital we believe in preventative veterinary care. We'd much rather treat a healthy pet than one that's sick. That's why we recommend that every one of our pet patients come in for regular pet wellness visits, which includes a thorough pet dental examination. Dogs and cats can develop a wide range of diseases from the infection caused by poor oral hygiene. With regular checkups and thorough cleaning when needed, your pet can keep her teeth and avoid serious disease with one or two short visits each year.

vet with kitten

Why is Pet Dental Hygiene Important?

Just like with humans, if food is left for long on a pet's teeth, it will turn into a sticky film called plaque. If these plaques aren’t removed, it will build up and turn into yellow tartar. Tartar has many tiny holes that are perfect breeding ground for bacteria.

These bacteria can cause any number of health issues in dogs and cats. It can damage teeth and gums, rot away jawbones, and even turn into infections that can travel to your pet's heart, liver and other organs. 

What Will the Veterinarian Look For in a Pet Dental Exam?

Our vet will check all parts of your pet's mouth during a dental examination. He'll look at your pet's teeth, of course, to find missing or damaged ones, as well as to determine the extent of tartar in your pet's mouth. He'll also look at the tongue and gums to look for swelling and discoloration, and will even smell your pets breathe to check for an extremely foul odor that can be a sign of infection.

What Issues Might Appear?

For most pets around age 3 or older, there will be a significant amount of tartar built up. We'll need to set an appointment for a thorough cleaning to remove it. We may also find chipped, cracked, or broken teeth, or even teeth that have fallen out. Red or very pale gums can indicate an infection, as can a swollen tongue. 

What Can I Do to Help?

The most important thing you can do to help your pet is to schedule regular visits to our office. After your pet's dental examination, we'll teach you how to brush your dog's or cat's teeth to prevent further tartar from forming. It's a process that will take time and practice, and your pet may never be happy with it, but brushing is an important part of health care.

Contact Our San Jose Office

Dental care is an important part of your pet's general health care. Give us a call today at (408) 258-2735 to schedule an appointment for a dental examination.