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Dental Disease In Pets

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Eighty percent of dogs and cats show oral disease by age 3, and it is one of the most common health problems treated in any small animal hospital today. The build-up of bacteria in your pet’s mouth may cause more than just bad breath. Bacteria in the mouth are also the cause of oral disease and diseases in other organs like the heart, liver and kidneys.

Just like humans, pet’s teeth are prone to plaque build-up, and when allowed to combine with saliva and residual food between the tooth and gum, plaque turns to tartar. If plaque and tartar are not removed routinely by your veterinarian, they may cause periodontal disease. It’s important to understand the differences between plaque, tartar and periodontal disease and how to prevent them.

PLAQUE

Dental plaque is a sticky substance that covers the teeth. It consists of bacteria, saliva, food particles and epithelial cells. Plaque builds up on the tooth surface and gum line every day. Left undisturbed the plaque can mineralize, or harden, in less than two days, forming calculus or tartar. Plaque can get worse where teeth are closer together, which will result in bad breath.

TARTAR / CALCULUS

Dental tartar is a film that covers teeth consisting of calcium phosphate and carbonate, food particles and other organic matter. The tartar will stick to the tooth surface forming a scaffold for more plaque accumulation. The continued build-up of tartar both above and below the gum line can eventually produce an environment that is a haven for bacteria that may be more destructive to the periodontal tissues and also produce a more noticeable odor. This can lead to periodontal disease.

GINGIVITIS

Gingivitis in cats and dogs is an inflammation of the gums most commonly caused by the accumulation of food particles in the crevices between the gums and teeth. The main symptom is bleeding, although you may also notice redness, pain and difficulty in chewing. If gingivitis is not treated, it may lead to periodontal disease.

PERIODONTAL DISEASE

Periodontal disease in pets is a very common infectious disease caused by bacteria that make up plaque. This causes the destruction of the structures that support teeth and left untreated, eventually leads to tooth loss. Symptoms of periodontal disease include bad breath and red or inflamed gums. There are other signs of dental disease in your pet that may be more subtle. Pets may preferentially choose softer foods; play with chew toys less and decline crunchy treats. They may chew less in general, and this sometimes causes the pet to vomit, seen as undigested or poorly chewed food. Increased salivation and pawing at or rubbing the face can be other indications of oral pain.

Our animal clinic provides extensive cleaning of your pet's mouth including scaling that incorporates special tools to remove plaque. The specially trained staff also add fluoride treatments to improve health and reduce sensitivity. Our veterinary clinic also commonly applies tools that polish the teeth to remove scratches from the tooth enamel. If extra oral medicine is needed for a pet, the professionals at our veterinary clinic may also apply these and advise owners to use them at home.


Virginia Beach Veterinarian | Birdneck Animal Hospital
508 North Birdneck Rd Suite C
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Phone: (757) 355-5694

Monday:

8:30 am-8:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Thursday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Saturday:

8:45 am-2:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

Feedback from our clients

  • "Words can not begin to express our gratitude for the care you had given Hunter over the years. When his time came, he watched for you to come through the door and his tail showed his affection towards you. That was most comforting having you there. Thank you.""
    ~R.H
  • ""Thank you so much for taking care of Maggie over the years. Y'all are the best and Dr. Johnson, you are the best vet in the world! God bless you all.""
    ~ J.D.
  • ""Your care for my beloved Mattie these last 10n years made her life, and mine much better….God bless each of you for all you did for us and I'm sure for all your other two and four legged patients.""
    ~E.D.
  • ""Thank you for saving my life." ~T.C."
    ~T.C.
  • ""I can not express how grateful I am for you and your staff… I appreciate everything you did in Beckham's treatment. He was so lucky to have such a wonderful doctor on his side. Thank you for all you do for the benefit of all our beloved pets.""
    ~L.B.
  • ""Dr. Johnson - There are no words that can truly capture your kindness.""
    ~G.B.
  • ""Thank you for the great care you took of Taco and the rest of our family. He is doing great now! He is enjoying running and playing with all four legs again.""
    ~W.C
  • ""People who avail themselves of your services at the clinic certainly are blessed to have such a caring staff....bless you and your devoted staff.""
    ~E.D.
  • ""A sincere thank you for taking such good care of Dulce. We are so thrilled that she is back to her normal self. You gave her the support and care she needed in her darkest hours and kept us confident in her recovery.""
  • ""Just to say how much we appreciate all of you. You all are wonderful people. We feel blessed to have our beloved furry children in your care when they need it. Your professional knowledge and your acts of kindness have a beautiful act all it's own. You are a great vet, compassionate and everything good all in one. You are in our daily prayers.""
    ~T.F.
  • ""Thank you and all of your staff for the excellent care you gave to my wonderful Abbey, who was so much a part of the family. Thank you for all the advice and support you gave to me these last few months. I don't know how I would have gotten through this without your constant support. I will, and I have highly recommended you to family and friends, as I feel you are the best!""
    ~P.B.
  • ""Thank you for taking care of my kitty, Slingshot. He is feeling better and better. My Paw-Paw said that you took extra special care of him and I really appreciate it. So, thank you again for taking care of my cat.""
    ~T.B. (age 6)
  • ""Dr. Johnson, I don't know why you decided to move here from your home in New Jersey, but I absolutely believe it was so you could help me and Mickey. I know coming to someone's home is not what a typical veterinarian would do, but you are obviously an extraordinary man in a world filled with ordinary men….On top of that, your sensitive and wonderful handwritten note arrived and touched my heart…You are one of those quiet, unheralded champions who make life easier for everyone you touch.""
    ~C.W.
  • ""Thank you so much for taking care of Lola when she had her reaction, and your office was already closed. I know you took time away from yourself and your family and I really appreciate it.""
    ~R.M.
  • ""Thank you for giving me more time with my best friend. We are all so grateful.""
    ~A.M.
  • ""Thank you for all of your support for Maxine during her illness. All was very much appreciated and will always be remembered. I have related to all my friends of what a great doctor and staff at Birdneck Animal Hospital.""
    ~O.B.
  • ""Thank you for taking such good care of me over the last 4 years. I am doing well and both legs and feet feel great. You sis an awesome job on me Dr. Johnson, and I'm gonna have a great year this year and I hope to see you only for my check up. You guys are the best!""
    ~Budkus
  • "We can't thank you enough for the wonderful and loving care you gave to"Budkus" while he was in your care. He was so little and so sick and we were so scared for him. Each and every one of the staff members made us feel like we had the only dog in the world. Like nothing else mattered except getting "Budkus" well again. Our deepest gratitude to all of you for the excellent care and attention we received, for your encouragement, comfort, and understanding, and most importantly for saving his life! Thank you so much.""
    ~ J.,B.,C.