Oral health care is as important to animals as it is humans. Veterinary dentistry is one of the 20 veterinary specialties recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association. The field of Pet Dentistry as it applies to all animals focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of disorders, diseases, and conditions of the oral cavity, the maxillo-facial area, and its structures.

Many pet owners may not know that their pet is having oral health problems which are why an oral exam should be performed during yearly examinations. In a conscious animal, an oral examination is quite limited and a thorough exam can only be done under anesthesia. Just as in humans, some systemic health complications first present themselves in the form of oral health issues.

Symptoms recognized to be linked to dental diseases and conditions include excess nasal discharge or facial swelling. In some instances, animals experiencing dental pain may exhibit neurological symptoms. The primary indicators of oral health disease include bad breath, broken, loose or discolored teeth, changes in eating patterns, constant rubbing or pawing at the face, signs of blood from the mouth, an inability or unwillingness to open or close the jaws, mood swings, and weight loss.

In small animals, the most common disease is a dental disease. Most commonly treated forms of dental disease in Pet Dentistry is periodontal or gum disease, nerve disease, and tooth resorption. Dogs rarely suffer from dental cavities or tooth decay, and cats apparently are unaffected by them. Because of an animal’s stoic nature, symptoms and clinical signs of dental disease and pain, are often very subtle.

The presence of dental disease can be suspected based on the symptoms noted previously, however, an exact diagnosis cannot be made once the animal is under complete anesthesia. An examination involves dental probing and whole-mouth x-rays. Upon diagnosis treatment commences while the animal is under the anesthesia.

Common treatment carried out Animal-er.com for dog and cat dental disease includes cleanings using an ultrasonic scaling of teeth above and below the gumline, periodontal (gum) surgery, root canals, tooth removal, and fillings. Once diagnosed, most oral health issues are treatable with an excellent prognosis. Patients typically experience immediate relief and their owners notice a marked increase in attitude, behavior, appetite and overall well-being. You can follow them on Google+ for more information.

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