Periodontal Disease in Pets by Dr. Katie Killen & Dr. William Bell

It is amazing how often periodontal disease is present without us even realizing. It isn’t every day that we are prying open our pets mouths to take a close look at their teeth, especially if their breath isn’t smelling so hot…but the good news is, we can intervene at any stage of the disease to help make our pets (and our noses) more comfortable, and most cases are preventable with just a few simple preventative measures!

Step one is to have your pet’s oral health assessed by a veterinarian. A dental exam by a veterinarian will give us an opportunity to grade the stage of your pet’s dental health, but sometimes a full picture cannot be obtained without a full exam under anaesthesia and possibly x-rays at the actual dental cleaning. Your veterinarian can discuss this in more detail at your appointment.

If we start out early with preventative measures for oral hygiene then your pet may not need to have a full dental cleaning at the vet for a very long time, but if periodontal disease has already developed, then it is often necessary for medical intervention before preventative measures will be effective. This is why having dental exams yearly can be so helpful to make sure you are on the right track with your pet. Think of it like when you go to the dentist to get a dental cleaning and then afterwards you take the best care you’ve ever taken of your teeth to try to make the cleaning go even more smoothly the next time!

We urge you to schedule a dental health check up with your pet, no matter how good or bad their breath is. If everything looks great then we can give you some great information on how to keep it that way as long as possible, and if there are problems that need to be addressed we can start you and your pet on the road towards a better smelling mouth, and more importantly, improved health and quality of life for your loyal companion! Hope to see you here at Mayfield Veterinary Clinic in St. Stephen soon!


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