Posts Tagged ‘teeth cleaning’

Does your pet’s mouth look like this?
If so, she is ready for a teeth cleaning!
(Click photo to enlarge.)

Tartar-encrusted teeth.

Red, sore gums.

Bad breath.

Bacteria galore.

You let your pet kiss you with that mouth?

Okay — we understand: a smooch from our beloved pet is hard to resist.

But when the signs of dental disease start adding up,
it’s time to do some math:
a professional teeth cleaning = healthier mouth and healthier body.

And a veterinary dentist can take Xrays of your pet’s mouth
to check the health of your pet’s tooth roots
and the bone surrounding the roots, also.

Best of all, your pet gets a clean mouth and
fresh breath — the better to kiss you with!

Contact Us to schedule your pet’s
dental exam with Dr. Miele and
learn more about professional
teeth cleaning by a veterinarian.



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Dental disease is the most common disease
in dogs and cats.

Does your pet have it?

It’s time to schedule their yearly check-up,
and find out!

It’s that time of year again. Love, hugs and chocolate are on everyone’s mind. For your pet, the first two come out way on top! (Chocolate is a no-no, but you already knew that!)

Dental disease is the most common disease in dogs and cats, affecting 78% of dogs and 68% of cats over the age of three. Although most dogs and cats will develop some sort of dental disease, small dog breeds, such as Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Dachshunds and Toy Poodles, are more prone to developing periodontal disease than larger breeds.

If your pet has bad breath, it may mean there is a problem with their teeth and gums. This can also contribute to more severe medical conditions. If dental issues are left untreated, you may put your pet at risk for problems in their mouth (periodontitis) or with internal organs (heart disease). The challenge most pet owners face is that even if their pet’s breath smells fine, some dental issues are hard to spot.

Early preventive measures, such as at-home pet dental care and teeth cleanings by a veterinary dentist will help to reduce the frequency and severity of dental disease later in life. The dentist will perform a comprehensive examination of your pet’s teeth and gums. Just like when you visit your dentist, we use special tools to remove tartar from below the gum line and smooth the surface of each tooth to prevent tartar buildup.

Keeping your pet healthy from toe to tooth shows the world how much you love them. The best way to keep your pet in tiptop shape is to schedule your pet’s yearly checkup with us. We’re committed to your pet’s well being every step of the way. (Because we love them too!)

Happy Valentine’s Day!


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National Pet Dental Health Month


Q: Do dogs wear braces?
A: For some dogs, braces are necessary to straighten the teeth enough so the dog’s mouth opens and closes correctly. Orthodontics work can vary from limited work on a few teeth to a full set of braces. However, most dogs are born with sufficiently straight teeth to allow them to chew without problems.

Q: My dog shows a ridge-like wear on its canine teeth. What causes this?
A: Wear patterns show up from repeated chewing. The ridge-like wear you describe could be attributed to chewing on a chain-link fence. Dogs that are left alone in backyards may chew on fences because they are bored, scared, frustrated or for other reasons. The best solution is to keep the dog and the fence away from each other.

Q: Does it matter whether my pet eats hard or soft food?
A: Studies show that hard kibbles are slightly better at keeping plaque from accumulating on the teeth. Currently, there is a separate product for dogs and cats that has been proven to reduce plaque and tartar. If you think your pet needs a special food, consult your family veterinarian.

Q: Will my pet suffer if I don’t take care of its teeth and gums?
A: Gum disease can cause pets pain and serious dental problems later in life, as well as possibly lead to more serious illnesses, such as heart and kidney disease. But gum disease can be prevented. By beginning early in your pet’s life to care for its teeth, you can spare your pet the discomfort caused by gum disease.

Q: How can a professional teeth cleaning by a veterinarian help my pet?
A: A professional dental cleaning will remove plaque, stain and tartar encrusted above and below the gumline, restoring your dog’s [and cat’s] teeth to a clean and polished condition, and removing the bacteria that can cause gum disease.

These questions and answers taken from “Dr. Logan answers your frequently asked questions” (expired link)

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Welcome to National Pet Dental Health Month!

A healthy mouth = a healthy pet. 

     “By the age of three, more than half of all cats and dogs are beginning to show signs of a dental problem.” – Hill’s Pet Nutrition

What is periodontal disease?
     It is a disease affecting the tissues that support the teeth and can lead to destruction of the tooth root, gums, and jaw.

What are the precursors to periodontal disease?

  • Plaque – a colorless film containing bacteria
  • Tartar – hardened plaque along the gumline
  • Gingivitis – inflammation of the gums, leading to gum disease and tooth loss

     “Infection associated with periodontal disease can be responsible for bad breath, and bacteria can enter a pet’s blood stream and spread to vital organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys.”  – Hill’s Pet Nutrition

What are contributing factors to periodontal disease?

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Breed – especially among breeds of dogs and cats with small, crowded mouths
  • Age

What signs should I look for at home?

  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding gums
  • Drooling
  • Tooth loss
  • Tartar buildup
  • Pain when eating
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Change of eating habits
  • Subdued behavior

What can I do about it?

  • Schedule your pet to get a dental exam and teeth cleaning from the veterinarian. Some pets may need the services of a veterinary dental specialist. Pets sometimes need root canals, just like people!
  • Clean your pet’s teeth after its meals, using a pet-specific toothpaste or liquid dentifrice.
  • Add Oxyfresh Pet Oral Hygiene Solution to your pet’s drinking water.
  • Feed Prescription Diet t/d to healthy adult pets. Hill’s t/d food is designed to scrub your pet’s teeth as he chews.

Information for this article adapted from “Oral Health:  Caring for your pet” by Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Copies of the pamphlet are available at our office.

Repost from February 6, 2012.

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Thanks to an abundance of education and dental products, many pet owners are aware of the importance of oral health care in dogs and cats. Indeed, many owners agree to pet dental cleanings, which are performed under general anesthesia and provide the highest level of dental care for a pet.

(What can you do for your pet’s dental health at home?
The answer is here.)

Traditionally, routine dental cleanings have been performed at the primary veterinarian’s office, with great success and no ill effects. However, veterinary care standards are changing, and that could affect the level of care your pet receives.

For instance, the standard of care for dentistry is now moving towards intra-oral, or full mouth, radiographs (X-rays), to more accurately determine the health of tooth roots and jaw bones. A pet’s mouth can appear clean and healthy, while at the same time exhibiting bone loss on X-ray. This becomes especially important in the case of tooth extractions.

A pet can suffer a broken jaw during a tooth extraction if the veterinarian is unaware of the shape or location of the tooth root or of bone loss leading to increased fragility of the jawbone. These risks should be expressed to the owner in advance of tooth extractions. The risk can be more accurately predicted, and perhaps minimized, through the use of dental X-rays.

Naturally, when a service is added, the overall fees increase. A dental X-ray + teeth cleaning and extractions will cost more than just a cleaning and extractions. However, the benefit of avoiding broken jaw bones is more than worth the extra cost incurred for X-rays.

In some recent experiences of pet owners across the U.S., broken jawbones that occurred during tooth extractions cost the owners $4,400 in one case; $3,000 in another case; and $10,000 in a third case. In each case, dental X-rays were not performed, and could have been useful in predicting complications.

(Need tips on brushing your pet’s teeth?
We have them here.)

Dr. Miele refers dental cases to a local veterinary dentist who includes full-mouth X-rays as part of his standard level of care. This allows the veterinary dentist to know ahead of time if there are underlying issues that need to be addressed. For instance, did you know that a veterinary dentist will perform root canals in order to save a pet’s teeth, rather than pulling them?

(What happens when a tooth root becomes infected?
Find the answer here.)

Veterinary dental care has become more sophisticated over the years, allowing your pet to receive the highest level of care available. And since oral health is related to overall health in pets, it is one area not to be overlooked. We trust your pet’s health to our local veterinary dental specialist, because we believe that your pet will receive a high standard of care before, during, and after its dental procedures.

Est. 1973

Information from this article borrowed from AVMA/PLIT Professional Liabilty Newsletter, Vol. 34, No. 3


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     Great news! We’ve added a new dental care product to our line-up:  VetzLife Oral Care Gel.

     You may have seen similar products advertised on TV: a gel or liquid is applied to the pet’s teeth daily or weekly, and plaque and tartar begin to break down.

     No process is as fast and effective as a dental cleaning under general anesthesia, but not all pets are suitable candidates for the procedure. Instead, more veterinarians and their clients are turning to products like VetzLife Oral Care Gel to provide a safe form of plaque and tartar removal.

     Plaque and tartar removal do take time, and it requires consistent application of the gel. And if you feel that your pet won’t like having its mouth handled, you can pat some gel on his lips. When he licks it off, the gel will spread over his teeth.

     We chose VetzLife Oral Care Gel, because it offers professional strength plaque and tartar reduction and 100% all-natural ingredients, at an affordable price. It also kills the bacteria that cause gingivitis and bad breath.

     See two photos below showing actual results after thirty days of application, on two different dogs.


     Ask for a bottle of VetzLife Oral Care Gel on your next visit to our clinic. We’ll even take before and after photos for you, to document the difference.
Photos above were borrowed from with permission.

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