Monday – Friday
8:00 am – 5:30 pm
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

4340 E. Broadway Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85711

Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth

Why Is Teeth Cleaning Important For Your Pet?

Dental disease is the most common health problem diagnosed in pets.  Poor dental health is much more significant than bad breath.  Periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss and other serious health concerns affecting internal organs.

Plaque forms on the tooth surface from the food particles and bacteria in the mouth and hardens into tartar when mixed with saliva and strongly adheres to the teeth. Calculus or tartar causes gingivitis and bad breath and if untreated, builds up between the teeth and gums forming pockets of infection around the roots of the teeth. This infection is painful and causes permanent damage to the teeth and jaw bone leading to abscesses and tooth loss. The infection can enter the blood stream and circulate to the rest of the body causing problems in various organs including the heart, liver, and kidneys.

When there is tartar and periodontal disease present in your pet’s mouth, a professional teeth cleaning is needed to limit the progression of disease. While your pet is under anesthesia, our veterinarian will thoroughly examine your pet’s mouth and take x-rays to see the roots of the teeth below the gum line.

The teeth will be cleaned by ultrasonic scaling including below the gumline and then polished. Teeth that are broken or have damage to the roots may need to be extracted or treated to try to avoid extraction.

After a dental cleaning, daily home care will be an important part of your pet’s preventive dental care.

Daily tooth brushing with enzymatic pet toothpaste is the ideal home care as it will help to remove plaque before it has a chance to harden into tartar. While brushing and performing dental care you should look for broken or abnormal teeth, bumps or swellings on the gums or in the mouth cavity along with inflamed gumline which could be signs of gingivitis or periodontal disease. If your pet won’t allow tooth brushing, there are special chews, dental foods and mouth rinses that can help to reduce bacteria and tartar build up. Starting dental care when your pet is young will help to keep them healthier and have longer lives.

To lessen the chance of broken teeth, we recommend avoiding treats that are too hard. Chewing on bones may seem like a good idea but we see a lot of pets with broken teeth due to chewing on hard bones.  Ask us what we recommend to help your pet keep a healthy mouth!

Watch this video to learn how to get your pet to allow you to brush their teeth.