The veterinarians at Balboa Pet Hospital in San Francisco will tell you, dental problems can often lead to larger systemic problems due to oral bacteria entering the bloodstream and damaging the kidneys, heart and liver. For this reason, we recommend regular dental cleanings with polishing. Our strict safety protocols mandate that we use anesthesia on every dental procedure. To better understand Veterinary Anesthesia, please watch the video on our Surgery & Anesthesia Page.
Pet dental care is often overlooked by owners, which is understandable. While most people grow up going to the dentist and brushing their teeth regularly, they rarely grow up doing the same for their pets. But modern pet dentistry is an important part of maintaining a pet’s overall health. Clean teeth and gums prevent gum disease – which can be dangerous to your pet if left untreated. As your veterinary dentist in San Francisco, we are your resource for pet dental care. Please contact us now to learn more!
Why is a Pet Dental Exam Important?
Much like their owners, pets can experience dental problems and eventually suffer from dental diseases that can compromise their health. Over time, plaque will develop on your pet’s teeth. Eventually that plaque will harden into tarter, which can lead to infection in the gum – otherwise known as periodontal disease. If the infection progresses far enough, it can cause the bone connected to the tooth to deteriorate.
A regular pet dental exam allows us to look carefully at your pet’s teeth and gums. We can suggest things you can do to help protect your pet’s dental health, like regular brushing, and we can identify signs of periodontal disease. When we can spot periodontal disease and other dental problems early on, we can treat them more effectively.
A pet dental exam can screen for a variety of issues, including:
- Periodontal disease
- Broken or chipped teeth
- Abscesses or infections
- Bite misalignment
- Resorptive lesions
- Oral pain
Your pet can go for a long time without giving any indication that something is wrong. Regular dental exams let us find issues now, instead of later.
Cat and Dog Dental Cleaning
Given enough time, most cats and dogs require a dental cleaning. A dental cleaning includes anesthesia to make it possible for us to get up under the gum line – where it is most important to clean away plaque and tartar. With periodic cleanings, we can protect your pet from ever getting periodontal disease. As your vet, we can advise you on when your pet needs a cat dental cleaning or dog dental cleaning in San Francisco.
Avoid Anesthesia-Free Pet Dental Cleanings
You may see advertisements for “anesthesia-free” cleanings for your pet. We encourage you to avoid these offerings, as they are not adequate for the prevention of periodontal disease. A proper dental cleaning gets up under the gum line, which can be uncomfortable and even painful – hence why a true cleaning always involves anesthesia. Without anesthesia, it is highly unlikely that all the plaque and tartar can be removed from your pet’s teeth. Furthermore, attempting to clean your pet’s teeth while fully awake can be more stressful to your pet.
Schedule an Appointment with Your Veterinary Dentist in San Francisco
Your pet’s dental health is important to us. We invite you to schedule an appointment for a dental exam. And remember, dental exams are also included in a comprehensive pet exam. As your veterinary dentist in San Francisco, we are standing by to assist you!
Safe Pet Dental Care
We provide a range of dental services including extractions and other forms of dental care. We are able to take digital X-rays of your pet’s teeth, gum line and jaw in order to look for evidence of dental disease that cannot be seen by visual examination alone. This is a very important tool for catching a range of dental and oral health issues before they become serious health concerns.
Home dental care is important and can greatly influence the amount of tartar buildup. Here’s a tutorial on how to begin a tooth brushing routine at home in an older pet.
It is important for you to provide home dental care and recognize the warning signs of dental disease, which include:
- Bad breath—one of the first signs of dental disease
- A yellowish-brown crust of plaque on the teeth near the gum line
- Red and swollen gums
- Pain or bleeding when your pet eats or when the mouth or gums are touched
- Decreased appetite or difficulty eating
- Loose or missing teeth
Please feel free to talk to any of our doctors or staff for personal instruction on how to properly care for your pet’s teeth.