Pet Oral Hygiene: Why Is Routine Dental Care for Pets So Critical?

Dental care for pets is vital to reducing the risk of gum disease. Untreated gum disease is five times more common in dogs than humans and can lead to cavities, gum problems, and tooth loss. As a pet owner, you must assist your pet in maintaining good oral hygiene.

What are the advantages of routine dental cleanings? 

Here are some reasons you should take your pet to a vet dentist once a year and if you still don’t have one for your pet, simply look up “dog dental care near me

A comprehensive oral check can reveal surface problems that aren’t evident.

A veterinarian will examine your pet’s whole oral cavity for symptoms of disease or pathology. Dental cleanings require anesthesia to protect the pet’s safety; with blinding lights and sharp instruments, no animal would gladly consent to the operation. Anesthesia permits doctors to examine areas that an awake patient would never tolerate, such as behind the tongue, in the back of the throat, and beneath the gums.

Dental X-rays may reveal disease hiding beneath the surface.

Because of its massive roots, half of each tooth sits beneath the gum like an iceberg. Sixty percent of oral health problems in pets are unseen by the human eye and are located beneath the gum line. Experts can evaluate each tooth, root, pulp chamber, and surrounding bone and jaw by taking dental X-rays of the entire mouth. Dental X-rays can detect unpleasant conditions such as a cracked crown or root, tooth or root resorption, dental infection, bone erosion, and cancer.


Without routine dental X-rays, pets with these invisible ailments would suffer in silence. The sickness or degeneration would become apparent over time, but the prognosis would worsen by then. A tooth can be saved or extracted, periodontal disease can be delayed, and cancer can be biopsied, removed, and treated if identified early.

Your pet’s teeth are polished and free of hazardous microorganisms.

The obvious benefits of regular dental cleaning are clean teeth and fresh breath, but the benefits extend beneath the surface to a microscopic realm that we cannot see.


Plaque is formed by salivary bacteria forming a biofilm on the tooth’s surface. Layer upon layer, this film turns yellow-brown tartar. Many owners notice tartar’s resemblance to stone or cave formations, correct. Tartar hardens and cements itself to the tooth, necessitating the use of a plier-like hand instrument to break it off. Although tartar appears to be inert, the bacterial population is constantly expanding and hiding in two dangerous places: below the gum line, where it causes periodontal disease, and in the bloodstream, where it spreads infection throughout the body and causes chronic inflammation of internal organs.


Dental cleaning restores your pet’s teeth to their natural whiteness and significantly reduces the bacterial burden. Annual cleanings decrease or eradicate all infections to keep the bacterial count in check and the infection from escalating to life-threatening heart and kidney damage levels and it also gives you an opportunity to learn more things like cat neuter procedure

Oral masses can be discovered and biopsied early on.

Bad breath is usually a manifestation of periodontal disease, but your pet’s mouth could be hiding something more sinister, like cancer. It is unusual to give a patient anesthetic for a routine dental procedure only to discover a large lump in the mouth cavity. Populi, or benign gingival tumors, are not metastatic but can grow quickly, demanding surgical excision and perhaps extraction of surrounding teeth. Malignant tumors, such as sarcomas and carcinomas, which can aggressively invade soft oral tissues and pierce the jaw bone, demanding extensive surgery and radiation, are even more concerning.


A thorough analysis of your pet’s oral cavity during their annual dental cleaning and dog physical exam may discover any concerning growths that are not visible during a routine checkup. These tumors can then be biopsied to be diagnosed. Surgical excision and therapy can begin as soon as possible, possibly before cancer has spread to the bone if they are cancerous.

The Key Point

Including tooth brushing in your dog’s daily routine, just like in humans, will help avoid the formation of bacteria in their mouth. If you’re uncertain on how to clean your dog’s teeth, your veterinarian can show you how and prescribe products. Introduce your pet to dental cleanings as early as possible, especially as a puppy, to get used to the brushing process.


Harold Reaves

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