Pet Dental Cleanings FAQs

Oral health is just as important to your pet as his overall healthcare. Your pet’s dental problems can impair his overall health by affecting his ability to eat and causing infections that damage internal organs. At New Hope Animal Hospital, we encourage pet owners to schedule annual dental exams for their pets so we can monitor their oral health. These FAQs from our Durham, NC, veterinarian provide greater insight into pet dental care.


What causes dental disease in dogs and cats?

Like people, pets can develop plaque on their teeth due to poor dental care. This plaque can harden into tartar and spread throughout your pet’s mouth, particularly under the gum line, which can lead to periodontal disease. Left unchecked, periodontal disease can cause tooth loss and damage his kidneys, heart, and liver.

What are some signs my pet has dental problems or oral disease?

The state of your pet’s teeth and his behavior can indicate whether he’s suffering from dental issues. Some signs to watch out for include:

  • Yellow or brown teeth
  • Inflamed or bleeding gums
  • loose teeth
  • foul breath
  • Difficulty chewing or loss of appetite due to painful teeth or gums

How often should I see a vet near me to professionally clean my pet’s teeth?

It varies from pet to pet. We recommend you bring your pet in for an annual dental exam. At that time, our veterinarian can determine if professional cleaning is needed.

Why is my pet sedated for teeth cleaning?

Professional dental care is done under anesthesia to make it easier for your vet and your pet. A proper exam includes taking x-rays and conducting a thorough inspection of your pet’s mouth, teeth, and gums. Dental cleanings involve scaling your pet’s teeth to remove plaque and tartar, particularly under the gum line, and polishing his teeth. These services can only be done while your pet is completely still. Putting him under anesthesia enables us to do a thorough job without your pet feeling discomfort or pain.

Will professional dental cleaning rid my pet of foul breath?

Yes. Professional cleanings will get rid of bacteria and infections that cause bad breath in your pet. We recommend you also brush your pet’s teeth 3-4 times a week and buy food and chew toys that help protect his teeth to keep his breath fresher longer.

Visit Our Durham, NC, Vet for Annual Pet Exams

Working with our veterinarian will make it easier to schedule the exams your pet needs for proper dental care. Pet owners in Durham, NC, can contact us at New Hope Animal Hospital at 919-490-2000 for pet dental care.

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